An overwhelmed Jenni Hermoso has retreated from public view and has gone into hiding and is only surrounded by her family and closest friends, according to reports in Spain.
The World Cup star has been at the centre of a media storm from the moment Spanish FA president Luis Rubiales kissed her on the lips as she went to collect her winners medal last Sunday.
The intervening days have seen her face accusations from her own FA of lying, calls that only intensified following the release of a video that showed her laughing at a meme of the incident.
According to Marca, the 33-year-old has taken refuge in the Spanish capital among family and friends, while remaining in regular contact with her representatives, MKT Jersey, and the players’ association, FUTPRO.
The report claims that lawyers for the union are weighing up whether Hermoso should file a complaint of sexual assault to Spain’s National Court, which has already opened an investigation into Rubiales.
Rubiales has been banned by FIFA’s disciplinary committee for an initial 90 days following his conduct at the Women’s World Cup final, which saw him kiss Jenni Hermoso on the lips
Hermoso appears to show off a meme on her phone comparing being kissed by Rubiales with former Spanish international Iker Casillas locking lips with reporter Sara Carbonero
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Players held up a signs reading ‘You’re not alone’ and ‘Jenni for you and for all of us’ during a recent game between Barcelona and Club America
Hermoso has been advised to refrain from answering calls and going on social media as she considers a return to her club side, Mexican outfit Pachuca.
The forward, whose last public appearance came last Saturday when she was seen in the box of the Wanda Alcala de Henares Sports Center to watch the Women’s Cup final, is said to be keen to return to the side as soon as it is feasible.
Having missed the start of a Liga MX Femenil season that got underway last month, Hermoso could feature as early as a Pachuca’s next game against Mazatlan on September 5.
But that will depend somewhat on the fallout from the video which surfaced on Wednesday.
Rubiales sent FIFA a copy of newly released footage showing the women’s football team celebrating and joking about his infamous kiss.
The clip was uploaded on to X, formerly Twitter, by journalist Alvise Perez and in it Hermoso can be seen laughing at a meme of her being kissed by Rubiales.
Now it has emerged he has sent the video to FIFA HQ to try and clear his name and a source close to him told MailOnline: ‘This video is gold dust for Rubiales.
‘All along we have said for Jenni to tell the truth. There was no sexual assault. If there was why was she laughing and joking?
‘She waited more than three days to make a complaint, if she was that offended why not say something straight away and why joke about it with team mates?’
Meanwhile, Rubiales, who is serving a 90-day suspension from FIFA, broke his own cover to collect his mother from hospital after she became ill while on hunger strike to support him.
Spanish media reported that Rubiales had personally come to collect his mother in the early hours of Thursday morning and they had slipped away through a back exit.
His mother had been admitted to hospital following her three-day hunger strike.
Former hairdresser Angeles Bejar, 72, was rushed to casualty on Wednesday night just minutes before she was due to give a press conference.
She had spent three days holed up in the 300-year-old Divina Pastora church in Motril near Malaga in protest at what she called the “witch hunt” against her son.
Hermoso’s rejection of Rubiales’ claims that the kiss was consensual, sparked his mum’s shock decision to go on hunger strike in her local church on Monday morning following his provisional FIFA suspension and a wave of condemnation over his actions from inside and outside the football world.
The mother of embattled Spanish FA chief Luis Rubiales has been released from hospital following a health scare that emerged as a result of a three-day hunger strike in a church
The church where Angeles Bejar was on hunger strike is located in the Rubiales family’s home town of Motril, to the east of Malaga and south of Granada, on Spain’s southern coast
She had said on Tuesday she was prepared to die to seek justice as she urged Jenni to ‘tell the truth’ about the kiss that is set to seal the end of her son’s career.
Speaking from the inside of the church on Tuesday night as she referred to the player, she said: ‘I just want the truth to be told.
‘She knows my son is very honest. If she tells the truth everything will be fixed.’
Referring to the World Cup kiss that has led to the so-called ‘Kissgate’ scandal, she added: ‘It was an anecdote, as she herself said, and look how far it’s gone.
‘She should have a conscience and act according to it.
‘My son is very worried and has asked me not to continue, to stop, but I will be here until I drop and my body can continue.’
THE SPANISH FA’S ATTEMPT TO BLAME HERMOSO FOR ‘KISS-GATE’
The RFEF argue that Rubiales’ arms are only loosely on Hermoso’s back in this photo, meaning he could ‘exert no force’, and that his heels are raised
The above image shows Rubiales smiling as he embraces Hermoso, with one hand on top of her head and the other on her back.
In explanation, the RFEF states: ‘Ms. Jennifer Hermoso, with her arms, grabs the RFEF President from behind, while Mr. President has his arms loose on the upper part of the player’s back. Therefore, no force could exert.
‘You can see how Mr. President has the heels of his feet raised slightly.’
Here, the RFEF maintains that Hermoso keeps her arms around the president and that his heels are raised. Only one of Hermoso’s arms and one of Rubiales’ feet are visible
In the second image, Rubiales’ upper arm has moved lower down Hermoso’s head.
The RFEF explains: ‘Ms. Jennifer Hermoso keeps her arms around Mr. President’s back. Mr. President keeps his arms on top of the player’s body.
‘It is verified how Mr. President already has much higher heels.’
Only one of Rubiales’ feet is visible in the photo.
The RFEF writes that ‘Mr. President’s feet are clearly and manifestly lifted off the ground as a result of the action of force carried out by the player’
This third image, with Rubiales lifted off the ground, is where the RFEF’s statement ramps up in vehemence and attributes responsibility to Hermoso.
The RFEF states: ‘Mrs. Jennifer Hermoso continues to keep her arms in the same position as the president’s body while the president must bring his arms closer to the player’s back as a result of having lifted him off the ground and to maintain balance.
‘The inclination of the back of Mrs. Jennifer Hermoso that occurs when she is performing an action of force is indisputable.
‘Mr. President’s feet are clearly and manifestly lifted off the ground as a result of the action of force carried out by the player.’
The RFEF maintains its stance in the final photo, where Rubiales is still lifted off the ground
For this final photo provided, the RFEF explains: ‘Mrs. Jennifer Hermoso continues to keep her arms in the same position as the president’s body while the president must continue to hold on to the players so as not to fall and it is evident that the arching of the player’s body corresponds to the lifting force of Mr. President you are performing.
‘The feet of Mr. President are ostensibly raised off the ground as a result of the player’s action.
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