Alexia Putellas: Spain star says women need institutions to show ‘courage and leadership’

Alexia Putellas
Putellas won the Ballon d’Or in 2021 and 2022

Spain midfielder Alexia Putellas says institutions must show “courage and leadership” to stop women suffering a “lack of respect or abuse”.

Putellas made her comments in the wake of Luis Rubiales resigning as Spanish Football Federation president after kissing Jenni Hermoso on the lips.

Rubiales is due in court on Friday to respond to accusations of sexual assault and coercion over the kiss.

“We feel passion for our job, that of being soccer players,” said Putellas.

“We are here to stay, to help those who will come because there is still a long way to go.”

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Putellas was speaking at a ceremony where she and Barcelona team-mates received the Medal of Honour for services to women’s football from the Catalan government.

She was also part of the Spain squad that beat England in the World Cup final on 20 August.

However, their victory was overshadowed by the controversy that occurred during the presentation ceremony.

Hermoso, 33, said the kiss from Rubiales was not consensual and filed a legal complaint about the incident.

Rubiales, who claimed the kiss was “mutual” and “consensual”, eventually resigned as Spanish FA (RFEF) president over the controversy on 10 September, while he also quit as vice-president of Uefa’s executive committee.

Two-time Ballon d’Or winner Putellas said: “These days we have seen it with the serious situation that we are experiencing with the RFEF and the changes that we are requesting so that no woman, both inside and outside of football, never again has to experience situations such as lack of respect or abuse.

“We need consensus, courage and leadership from the institutions please and that is why we will not stop here, we will join those who have fought before us.

“We will join together for the effort we make every day and we will join all the girls and boys who today dream of being like us.

“We will not fail you, long live women’s sport and long live Barca.”

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