The mother of embattled soccer chief Luis Rubiales locked herself inside a church and went on a hunger strike to protest a “witch hunt” against her son.
Rubiales is under fire for forcibly kissing midfielder Jennifer Hermoso on the lips as she celebrated her team’s win during the World Cup ceremony. Spain defeated the defending champions England 1-0 during the World Cup final.
Video footage shows Rubiales grab Hermoso’s head in both hands and plant a kiss on her lips during the awards ceremony.
Rubiales’ mother locked herself inside a church in the southern town of Motril, USA Today reports.
Ángeles Béjar told reporters she is on a hunger strike to end the “inhumane witch-hunt” against her son.
Rubiales’ cousin, Vanessa Ruiz, spoke to reporters outside the church. She called on Hermoso to “tell the truth” about the kiss.
Rubiales also forcibly kissed other players, including Aitana Bonmati, of Spain, during the awards ceremony.
Initially, FIFA, the governing body of soccer, dismissed the incident, but FIFA folded and suspended Rubiales for 90 days on Saturday.
That’s not enough say women’s rights activists. Protests are set for today, Aug. 28, in Madrid.
Yolanda Diaz, the deputy prime minister of Spain, said on Monday that male chauvinism is “systemic” in Spain and that Rubiales has shown it in its worst form by refusing to resign as head of the Spain Soccer Federation.
His refusal to resign led to the resignations of other board members, including the vice president in charge of women’s soccer.
“Rubiales cannot run Spanish soccer again,” Spanish minister María Jesús Montero said Sunday. “We had enough of him when he marred the great triumph of women’s soccer with his intolerable attitude.”
The entire Spain coaching staff has resigned. And Hermoso’s teammates, along with more than 50 other women players, say they will not play for Spain as long as Rubiales remains as head of the Spanish soccer federation.
Watch the video below.