Meet the women in Luis Rubiales’ life: Disgraced Spanish FA boss has three daughters, a lawyer ex-wife, and his mother is on a hunger strike as chief faces calls to resign following kiss-gate
- Luis Rubiales faces calls to resign after kissing Jenni Hermoso at the World Cup
- The Spanish FA chief has repeatedly referenced his daughters during the saga
- Rubiales’s mother has also begun a hunger strike in support of her under-fire son
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Under-fire Spanish FA boss Luis Rubiales has been accused of causing ‘grave harm to the image of Spanish football’ with his conduct around the Women’s World Cup final.
Rubiales has been at the centre of a storm of controversy since he kissed World Cup winner Jenni Hermoso on the lips after the final earlier this month in Sydney.
His actions sparked a global outcry, with people accusing him of both assaulting Hermoso and taking attention away from Spain’s achievement.
He has also been criticised for grabbing his crotch in front of Spain’s Queen Letizia and her teenage daughter Sofia, which he has since apologised for, but has defiantly refused to resign from his post as the head of Spain’s football association (RFEF).
Spanish FA chiefs have called on Rubiales to resign with immediate effect with FIFA pushing to ban the official from all football for 15 years amid the scandal, having already imposed a provisional suspension.
Rubiales has been suspended by FIFA’s disciplinary committee for an initial 90 days following his conduct after the Women’s World Cup final, which saw him kiss Hermoso on the lips
He sparked more outrage after footage emerged of him grabbing his crotch while celebrating Spain’s win in the vicinity of Spanish Queen Letizia and her 16-year-old daughter
Spanish FA chiefs have Rubiales to resign with immediate effect as the scandal continues
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Rubiales insisted last week in an extraordinary press conference that he will not resign from his position.
The official hit out at ‘false feminism’ during his speech when addressing his three daughters in the audience.
His family have been dragged further into the saga, after his mother Angeles Bejar made the extraordinary decision to begin a hunger strike in support of her son.
Mail Sport takes a closer look at Rubiales and the women in his life amid the ongoing scandal.
Who is Luis Rubiales?
Rubiales was elected as the Spanish FA president in 2018, with the former footballer having embarked on a successful career in sports administration.
He played for Motril, Valencia and Atletico Madrid during his youth career, but spent the majority of his time at senior level playing for clubs in the second division of Spanish football.
The defender was given the nickname ‘Pundonor’ for his tenacity, with his senior career including spells at Mallorca, Lleida, Xerez, Levante, Alicante, before ending his career in Scotland with Hamilton.
Rubiales was credited for leading a strike in the Levante squad over non-payment of players, while he became president of the Association of Spanish Soccer Players in 2010 – an organisation defending players’ rights.
The lawyer was elected RFEF president in 2018 and became a UEFA vice-president in the same year.
Rubiales was elected as Spanish FA chief in 2018 by his reign has been plagued by controversy
READ MORE: Moment president of Spanish FA kisses player on the mouth during trophy presentation after Spain’s 1-0 win against England in World Cup final
His tenure as Spanish FA chief has been plagued by controversy.
Rubiales survived accusations of corruption last year over an agreement to take the Spanish Super Cup away from Spain to Saudi Arabia.
It followed Spanish website El Confidencial revealing voice messages of conversations with former Barcelona defender Gerard Pique, whose company had taken a commission for setting up the sale, Rubiales was accused of corruption.
In a press conference Rubiales said: ‘This is a Mafia. I don’t think you’ll find me in a ditch shot in the back of the head, but I can’t guarantee you won’t find cocaine in the boot of my car.’
Leaked messages also revealed he made derogatory comments about Sevilla, Villarreal and Valencia, which came weeks after he was forced to deny allegations he had hosted orgies with Spanish FA money.
While Rubiales has fended off previous scandals, the storm following his conduct after the World Cup final looks increasingly likely to cost him his position.
Who is Rubiales’ ex-wife?
Rubiales had previously been married to a lawyer named Manuela Delicado Vega, with the couple having three daughters during their relationship.
The 46-year-old addressed the break-up of his marriage during an interview earlier this year.
Rubiales told the programme ‘Viajando con Chester’ that their relationship ended about 11 years ago.
He revealed the split was amicable and praised his ex-wife for helping to bring up their daughters.
‘I think we have always done the best for girls,’ Rubiales said.
‘I don’t think it was a failure, we were very happy, but when you go to another stage, well, you pass.’
Rubiales revealed during an interview on the Cuatro programme ‘Viajando con Chester’ that he has an amicable relationship with his ex-wife Manuela Delicado Vega
Mexican painter Roberta Lobeira was reported to be a previous girlfriend of Rubiales
Former colleague Tamara Ramos Cruz has accused Rubiales of workplace harassment, while he faces claims of taking a Mexican woman on a six-day work-funded holiday to New York
Mexican painter Roberta Lobeira, who made paintings for the Netflix series La Casa de las Flores, was reported in the Spanish press to have been one of Rubiales’ girlfriends following the break-up of his marriage.
Spanish outlet El Confidencial reported that Rubiales faces accusations that he took Lobeira on a six-day work-funded holiday to New York. The claims followed a selfie posted on social media of the trip in 2018.
Judge Delia Rodrigo and the prosecutor have called on Roman Ignacio Rodriguez Fernandez to provide details on the dates and evidence of the trip to New York.
Rodriguez Fernandez was the largest shareholder in the advertising, media and events company DDP SL, which regularly liaised with the Spanish FA.
Rubiales has also been linked to model Brigit Tenorio, who he was claimed to have helped earn a role at DDP SL, after also working in the Association of Spanish Footballers.
The embattled Spanish FA chief has been accused of consistent workplace harassment by former colleague Tamara Ramos Cruz.
Ramos Cruz claimed Rubiales asked her what colour underwear she was wearing in front of Spanish men’s players Gerard Pique, Iker Casillas and Sergio Busquets.
Does Rubiales have any children?
Rubiales has repeatedly referenced his three daughters Lucía, Ana and Elena during the ongoing saga.
The official initially defended kissing Hermoso by comparing the act to him kissing one of his daughters.
‘Everyone there – even some of my family, my daughters – the desire that could have been there in that kiss is exactly the same that could have been as giving a kiss to one of my daughters. No more, no less,’ Rubiales said.
‘It was a spontaneous kiss… It was spontaneous, mutual, euphoric and with consent, which is the key.
‘This is the key to all of the criticism, of all of the campaign which has been mounted in this country: that it was without consent. No. It was with consent.’
The Spanish FA chief then reportedly pleaded with Hermoso to appear in an apology video with him, appealing to her by starting ‘my position is at stake, do it for my daughters.’
Rubiales had directly addressed his three daughters during his press conference when he hit out at ‘false feminism’ as he insisted he will not resign from his role as Spanish FA president
All three of Rubiales’ daughters had been present for his remarkable speech at an extraordinary meeting of the Spanish FA in which he refused to resign from his position.
Rubiales had pointedly addressed his daughters during the speech when hitting out against ‘false feminism’.
‘I want to say looking at my three daughters who are there that today they have to learn a lesson about what equality is,’ Rubiales said.
‘You have to differentiate between the truth and the lie, and I am telling the truth. Daughters, learn it, it is a life lesson.
‘You are true feminists, not the false feminism that is out there. That false feminism is not he seeks justice, the truth, he doesn’t care about people.’
Rubiales has now accused Hemoso of lies after she insisted the kiss was not consensual, with the 46-year-old claiming he will ‘legally defend himself’ against what he called a ‘social murder’.
He had opened up on his relationship with his three daughters earlier this year during an interview.
The Spanish FA chief has repeatedly referenced his three daughters during the scandal
Rubiales revealed his youngest daughter Elena wears his number 17 shirt when playing football
‘The eldest is studying art history and is very sensitive with a commitment to herself and to society,’ Rubiales said.
‘The middle one is the one who most resembles me, the most demanding and has beastly intelligence, and the youngest is my soccer player.’
Rubiales said his youngest daughter, Elena, had moved him by revealing she would wear his number 17 on the back of her shirt during matches. The gesture reportedly came when his position as Spanish FA president was previously threatened.
He also revealed he had been fearful when one of his daughters suffered a fall, which had left her close to death.
‘You discover a different level of love, but above all in my case fear. I had a very bad time with one of my daughters,’ Rubiales said.
‘I remember getting up with my daughter and holding her hand and we were walking little by little, she only moved one leg.
‘Everything had been affected. At first the doctors didn’t tell you anything. But one day a doctor came and told me: “Luis, it’s going to be fine”. I gave him a hug and it was tremendous’.
Rubiales’s mother begins hunger strike
The saga around Rubiales escalated further on Monday when his 72-year-old mother Angeles Bejar locked herself into the Divina Pastora church.
Angeles has vowed she will ‘die for justice’ for her son and has refused all food, but is taking water and energy drinks.
‘I will stay here as long as my body holds out,’ she said.
‘I don’t mind dying for justice because my son is a decent person and it’s not fair what they’re doing.’
In a series of WhatsApp messages with a local TV station, Angeles explained her actions, accusing Hermoso of lying about the incident that was broadcast on live television, and has since been replayed countless times.
‘I just want her [Jenni Hermoso] to tell the truth and stick to the version she had when all this started,’ Angeles said.
‘There is no sexual abuse as there is consent on both sides, as is shown in the images. Why are they being cruel to him? What is behind all this story? He is incapable of harming anyone. I believe a lot in God and I ask for the truth.’
Retired hairdresser Angeles Bejar (seen left on Monday) launched her hunger strike yesterday morning at a church in the Costa resort of Motril, near Malaga
On Monday night a crowd of around 100 locals gathered in support of Rubiales and they were joined by several members of his family.
Police watched on as they chanted ‘Amore por Rubiales’ (Love for Rubiales) while others carried posters backing him and attacking Hermoso.
The placards read: ‘Stop chasing against Rubiales’ while another read: ‘The truth knows only one path. Jenni be sincere’ and another said: ‘Jenni why not tell the truth.’
Among those protesting was his cousin Delmelza Ruiz who said she had wanted to come out in defence of him but she pointed her attack at Jenni.
Family friend Maria Mora claimed Luis is having difficulties talking with his mum.
She claimed yesterday: ‘He’s very worried, he’s having a terrible day because he hasn’t been able to speak with her and he’s feeling terrible.
‘He doesn’t know what to do because for him his mother is the most important person in the world and she’s in that church.
‘He can’t communicate with her or do anything with her.’
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