In a dramatic turn of events, Ángeles Béjar, the mother of Spanish football federation (RFEF) president Luis Rubiales, has taken a drastic step to protest against her son’s treatment. She has locked herself inside the church of the Divine Shepherdess in Rubiales’ hometown of Motril, Andalusia, and declared a hunger strike. Béjar’s determination is fueled by what she refers to as an “inhuman, bloodthirsty witch hunt” against her son. The situation has escalated to such an extent that even FIFA has handed Rubiales a 90-day suspension from all football-related activities, while Spain’s Supreme Sports Council seeks his removal from office.
The controversy surrounding Rubiales stems from his behavior after Spain’s Women’s World Cup final win. In a moment captured by cameras, Rubiales kissed Spain player Jenni Hermoso without her consent. He has vehemently denied any wrongdoing and claims the kiss was consensual. However, Hermoso has refuted this statement, leading to a preliminary sexual abuse investigation by Spain prosecutors.
Locked inside the church, Béjar promised to continue her protest “indefinitely, day and night” until her son is vindicated. She firmly believes in Rubiales’ innocence and argues that the images prove the absence of sexual abuse due to the apparent consent on both sides. Asserting that her son is incapable of hurting anyone, Béjar’s hunger strike reflects her desperation to clear his name and protect his reputation.
Vanessa Ruiz Béjar, Rubiales’ cousin, confirmed the distressing situation faced by their family. She expressed her disbelief at the harassment her family has endured and highlighted the pain that Rubiales’ mother, a person of strong faith, is experiencing. Vanessa implored Jenni Hermoso to tell the truth, questioning the inconsistency in her statements and emphasizing the toll this controversy has taken on Rubiales and those close to him. She lamented the treatment Rubiales has received from various quarters, including the aggression of certain feminists, television, and opportunistic individuals who have capitalized on the situation.
The repercussions of Rubiales’ actions have reverberated both within Spain and internationally. A friendly football match called “Friends of Rubiales,” featuring the embattled RFEF president, was abruptly canceled in Motril due to concerns over public order. This cancellation underlines the escalating tensions and suggests the widespread disapproval of Rubiales’ conduct. Numerous football clubs, players, and politicians have joined in the chorus of condemnation leveled against him, making it clear that his actions and subsequent refusal to accept responsibility have sparked outrage.
Spain’s Labour Minister Yolanda Díaz highlighted the deeper issue at hand: systemic male chauvinism in the country. Díaz, who also serves as the deputy prime minister and heads the far-left Sumar coalition, called for a change in social attitudes and increased protection for victims of sexual harassment and violence. This call for broader transformation serves as a reminder that the controversy surrounding Rubiales is not an isolated incident but part of a larger societal problem that needs to be adequately addressed.
The saga surrounding Luis Rubiales has captured the attention of the nation. The firm stand taken by his mother, Ángeles Béjar, through her hunger strike, demonstrates the unwavering support and belief in her son’s innocence. However, the controversy continues to intensify, drawing condemnation from various quarters and bringing to light the pressing issue of systemic male chauvinism. As the investigation unfolds, it remains to be seen how this high-profile case will impact the Spanish football federation and provoke broader societal change.