World Cup-winner Laia Codina has admitted that the Spain squad did not process the events of the kiss scandal until some time after, following the incident between suspended RFEF President Luis Rubiales and forward Jenni Hermoso.
Rubiales is currently suspended for 90 days by FIFA, but could face jail time after Hermoso agreed to give a statement to the police and co-operate with the prosecution against him for potential charges for sexual assault or sexual harassment.
In the aftermath of the event, a video was released of the Spain side joking about the event, but Codina has explained that in the joy of winning the World Cup it was not until the situation was framed by one of the mature members of the squad that they realised its nature.
“We started to realise a bit during the dressing room, because with the celebrations, the families came down, you don’t know exactly what happened. You know that people are talking about something, but you don’t know exactly what.”
“But in the end when we are actually conscious of what happened, not just speaking about the kiss, but also the gestures of Rubiales next to the queen, when we’re actually is aware on the bus.”
“In the same way that men have facilities and help, we want the same. We only ask for capable people, not the first person that passes by, or giving the job to someone off Diagonal.”pic.twitter.com/xPIBvxMSZp
— Football España (@footballespana_) September 7, 2023
“And one of the veterans says to us, ‘look girls, because what happened here is very serious. It is unacceptable, and we have to condemn it because ultimately, it’s still an abuse of power by the boss towards a player, which could have been any one of us.”
This would perhaps explain the images released after the event on the bus. During Hermoso’s statement, she also mentions that she had not had time to process the event, and only after did she realise that she had been the victim of sexist, inappropriate act.
Official Announcement. August 25th,2023. pic.twitter.com/lQb18IGsk2
— Jenn1 Hermos0 (@Jennihermoso) August 25, 2023
Codina would go on to ask for improved conditions for the women’s team, and women’s football in general. For some time there has been a demand from Spain’s players for better facilities and better infrastructure in the game, and Codina responded that all they want is the same professional help as the men’s game. The 23-year-old has completed a move from Barcelona to Arsenal this summer, and will head to the English Superleague.
Relevo say that Hermoso has now returned to Mexico, where she will get back to action with her club Pachuca, and hopes to escape the suffocating attention which has been turned her way following the events of the last few weeks. Pachuca are expected to release a statement asking for the public to protect Hermoso at a tricky time.