Head of Spanish women's football league calls Rubiales-led FA 'sexist'

Beatriz Alvarez speaks with Reuters during an interview at their headquarters in Madrid, Spain
Beatriz Alvarez speaks with Reuters during an interview at their headquarters in Madrid, SpainReuters
The head of the Spanish women's football league said on Wednesday that the country's football federation, when led by its disgraced former chief Luis Rubiales, had shown a sexist attitude towards her and a lack of institutional respect for the league.

Beatriz Alvarez, who has been in charge of Liga F since July 2022, told Reuters she had not been surprised by the furore unleashed by Rubiales' kiss on Spain midfielder Jenni Hermoso's lips during the Women's World Cup final medal-winning ceremony on August 20th.

"I was not surprised at all because I knew Rubiales privately and the way he behaved in this situation was the same as in many others," she said.

Rubiales resigned as president of the RFEF federation on September 10th and is under investigation by Spain's High Court for alleged sexual assault and coercion following a criminal complaint by Hermoso.

During his testimony to the court, Rubiales denied the accusations, according to a statement by the prosecutor's office. Rubiales has repeatedly said the kiss was consensual, while Hermoso says it was forced on her.

"At least since I came to the Liga F, there has been an absolute lack of institutional respect - as well as sexism - from the federation," Alvarez added.

Rubiales' attorneys declined to comment on Alvarez's accusations and the RFEF was not immediately available for comment.

Alvarez recounted how her third child had been born just a day before the Liga F season kicked off. When she asked the RFEF to hold the meetings via video conference, Rubiales refused.

"He told me that I had to set an example and dedicate myself to raising my children," Alvarez said. "This is very, very serious."

Alvarez said she was not invited by the RFEF to the Women's World Cup final in Sydney, which she believes would never have happened to the president of the men's league.

"I don't know if it's because I am a woman or because I have been coherent with my values and principles; I have not submitted to threats or reprisals," she added.

Still, she said the fact that the women's team won the World Cup had put them in the global spotlight, which should boost women's football, help to stamp out sexist attitudes and promote equality.

"We have managed to win something much more important, which is a structural change, a fundamental change, a change of mentality," she said.

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