Leah Williamson speaks out over ‘Unacceptable actions” after Spain’s Women’s World Cup win

As the Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta said in his recent pre match press conference, it’s sad that his nations first ever women’s World Cup win has been “overshadowed” by a kiss.

Live attendance, TV ratings, sponsorship deals ……so many numbers in Australia highlighted the growth in the sport.

Yet less than a week after a victory that should have a whole country celebrating, the whole of Spain haven’t had a moment to soak in the moment.

The latest is the the whole squad (and many more) who lifted the trophy last weekend are refusing to play for Spain again unless President Luis Rubiales is removed from power.

Male players have also made a similar threat.

Rubiales is refusing to quit, despite pressure coming from government level, insisting he asked Jenni Hermoso for permission to give her ‘a peck’ as she collected her medal.

This made her feel obliged to post on social media that no such consent was given and that words had been ‘invented’.

So, somebody is now lying.

If not for injury, Leah Williamson might have captained England last Sunday.

This is her opinion on the situation: ‘Unacceptable actions allowed to happen by a sexist and patriarchal organisation. Abuse is abuse and we have all seen the truth.

“The behaviour of those who think they are invincible must not be tolerated, and people shouldn’t need convincing to take action against any form of harassment.

“We all stand with you, @jennihermoso and all players of the Spanish team.”

Rubiales’ stance is the embrace was simply euphoria, a Spaniard overcome with emotion proud of the players.

Yet where is his line?

If he thinks pride and joy justifies his actions, then where does the line stop?

Slapping each girl on the bum?

An arm round the waist?

A playful tickle?

A lingering stare?

Context is everything of course.

This might not be a pervert thinking anything sexual at all. It might very well be someone who loves his flag, humbled and honoured by what his peers had just accomplished.

Naivety can’t be an excuse though.

Moments like this help educate a generation.

Just by having a conversation, boys and girls will learn that you don’t have a right to just kiss anyone on the lips when you feel like it.

Just because you’re happy it doesn’t mean you don’t need consent.

I could be delighted about a promotion at work, it doesn’t give me the right to kiss every one of my co-workers.

I could be delighted that I won the lottery, it doesn’t give me an excuse to kiss everyone in the club.

I could get arrested for doing that.

Plus remember…. this is Rubiales’s job.

He was being paid to be in Sydney.

He gets thousands of pounds every month to represent his nation at events.

So, he would have been taught the standards and expectations to be in such a role, especially how to carry yourself on an occasion the magnitude of a World Cup Final.

He had earlier in the game celebrated by grabbing his crotch.

Prince William is the President of the FA.

Imagine if he had grabbed his crotch or kissed one of the Lionesses.

The media would be all over it.

It’s unthinkable, it wouldn’t happen.

It’s amazing how many defend Rubiales and I notice how old those people are.

If one child learns that you can’t just grab and forcefully kiss a person when you want, then that’s progress.


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Tags jenni hermoso Leah Williamson Rubiales


  1. A peck, sexual abuse? The world I live in is clearly different from these people’s world. When I look at these other societies, I see a race and culture that is easily offended, any slight thing hurts them, easily triggered and their emotions easily poked.

    Anyways about the peck, if truly he asked for permission and she granted fine, I say don’t resign. If he lied, I say he should resign. But now how do we know who is lying and who’s saying the truth?

  2. If you understand the culture then you’ll understand.

    Now I’m not saying what he did was right but to compare it to the English is just plain stupid!

  3. Yolanda Diaz, a Spanish Minister said:
    “We are in a country of systemic machismo and are not only talking about the personal responsibility of Mr Rubiales but also the massive discrimination in Spain against women.
    On Friday we saw the worst of Spanish society, of the structural machismo of this country. They clapped and humiliated and made fun of a person they had the obligation to protect under the sports law and far from doing that, they inflicted more damage, more pain, more vexation.”
    I agree!!!!

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