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Spain soccer federation threatens to sue World Cup star Jenni Hermoso

Luis Rubiales has been called on to resign. (Photo by Oscar J. Barroso / AFP7 via Getty Images)

The Spanish Soccer Federation (RFEF) and its president Luis Rubiales are not backing down.

Rubiales, who has come under fire for kissing Spain defender Jenni Hermoso on the lips after the team’s World Cup win, a gesture that Hermoso has said was non-consensual, has said he will not resign despite massive outcry for his removal.

In a statement, the federation said it was prepared to take “necessary legal action,” adding that “playing for the national team is an obligation on any member of the federation called upon to do so.”

Eighty-one players signed a letter Friday stating they would reject playing for the national team until RFEF leadership is changed.

“The evidence is conclusive. Mr. President has not lied,” the statement read. “The RFEF and Mr. President will demonstrate each of the lies that are spread either by someone on behalf of the player or, if applicable, by the player herself.”

The statement also included pictures of the medal ceremony, alongside descriptions of Hermoso and Rubiales’ body language, meant to invalidate Hermoso’s claims. Rubiales has referred to the incident as an example of “false feminism.”

“I feel obliged to report that Mr. Luis Rubiales’ words explaining the unfortunate incident are categorically false and part of the manipulative culture that he himself has generated,” Hermoso said in a statement. “I believe that no person, in any work, sports, or social setting should be a victim of an impulsive-driven, sexist, out of place act without any consent on my part.

“Simply put I was not respected.”