Spain striker Borja Iglesias steps down from national team after Rubiales’ refusal to resign

The Real Betis forward has said he will not be available for selection while the RFEF chief remains in his position in solidarity with Jenni Hermoso

Caso Luis Rubiales
Spain's Borja Iglesias during the UEFA Nations League soccer match between Spain and Switzerland, at the Benito Villamarín Stadium, in Seville, Spain, September 24, 2022.Jose Breton (AP)

Real Betis striker Borja Iglesias has announced his intention to step down from the Spanish national soccer team, following statements made by Spanish Football Federation president Luis Rubiales and his refusal to resign in the wake of the scandal caused by a non-consensual kiss with midfielder Jenni Hermoso after the victory of the women’s team at the 2023 World Cup. “I am sad and disappointed,” Iglesias said, while declaring solidarity with his “teammate” Hermoso.

The Spain international said that “as a footballer and as a person” he did not feel represented by “what happened today at the Ciudad del Fútbol de Las Rozas [the headquarters of the RFEF in Madrid].” Iglesias said it is “deplorable that they continue to pressure and place the focus on a teammate [Hermoso].”

Despite his desire and the importance of “wearing the shirt of the national team,” Iglesias announced he would make himself unavailable for Spain until “things change and these type of acts do not go unpunished.”

The two-time Ballon d’Or winner and world champion Alexia Putellas also hit out on social networks after Rubiales delivered a widely criticized speech in Las Rozas. “This is unacceptable. It’s over. I’m with you teammate, Jenni Hermoso,” she wrote. Putellas is one of Hermoso’s best friends in the Spanish national team and one of the biggest stars in the women’s game, who has been at Hermoso’s side since Rubiales’ inappropriate behavior in Australia.

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