Andres Iniesta and Barcelona president Joan Laporta continued to mount criticism on federation president Luis Rubiales on Sunday, ahead of a potential government sanction against the suspended Spain chief.
Rubiales, 46, was provisionally suspended by FIFA for 90 days on Saturday and the Spanish government are aiming to issue their own measures after he kissed midfielder Jenni Hermoso on the lips at the Women’s World Cup final last Sunday.
Hermoso says the kiss was nonconsensual, despite Rubiales’ claims to the contrary, and 81 players went on strike from the women’s side in protest after the federation chief refused to resign.
Spain’s Minister for Sport Miquel Iceta said the government would ask the country’s sports court (TAD) to meet on Monday to decide if they would accept the government’s complaint against Rubiales.
Iniesta said Rubiales’ behaviour was “damaging the image” of Spanish football and “tarnished” the team’s achievement of lifting the World Cup trophy for the first time.
“After what has happened this week I would like to convey my sadness as a person, as a father of three daughters, as a husband and as a footballer”, Iniesta wrote on his social networks.
“We cannot tolerate actions like the ones we have seen, which have tarnished such a great milestone as winning a World Cup,” added the 2010 men’s World Cup winner.
The majority of the women’s team’s coaching staff have also offered their resignations.
On Sunday, the Spanish football federation’s (RFEF) Sexual Violence Protection delegate clarified an “investigation process” was underway.
“I can’t imagine the feeling that all the national team players must be feeling right now seeing how they are not talking about the great tournament,” continued former Barcelona star.
“Instead, we have had to put up with a president who has clung on to his position, who has not admitted that his behaviour has been unacceptable and is damaging the image of our country and our football around the world.”
Barcelona president Laporta said the football world was convinced Rubiales would step down last Friday, when he gave a defensive speech at an emergency RFEF meeting.