‘Football Gives Me Life’

Jenni Hermoso


Spain’s Jenni Hermoso says “football continues to give me life” six months on from winning the World Cup, when former Spanish federation chief Luis Rubiales kissed her.

Hermoso was speaking at her first international news conference since the incident, which she says was not consensual.

“I’m lucky to be back in a final after six very long months,” said Hermoso.

“Today I’m enjoying football, competing with Spain to win another tournament.”

Hermoso, 33, filed a legal complaint against Rubiales after he kissed her on the lips following Spain’s victory over England in the World Cup final in Sydney, Australia in August.

Rubiales was forced to resign in the wake of the incident and has subsequently been banned from all football-related activity by FIFA for three years, a ruling which was upheld last month when the 46-year-old tried to appeal.

The incident set off a wave of global anger at sexism at the highest levels of women’s sport and led to boycotts of the national team by Spain’s players as they called for changes to be made to women’s football in the country.

“A lot has happened since then,” said Hermoso on Tuesday.

“It has been a hard process, of understanding many things. I’m still playing football and the only thing I want is to continue enjoying myself wearing this shirt.”

Hermoso, who plays her domestic football for Tigres in Mexico, returned to the national side in October and scored an 89th-minute winner against Italy in the Nations League group stage.

“For me it’s very important to play in another final, to continue here, I feel good, football continues to give me the life I need, I want to continue enjoying games with my national team and with my Tigres team, and I continue to enjoy this sport,” said Hermoso.