The trigger for the outcry was Rubiales' actions following Spain's Women's World Cup final victory, where he kissed forward Jenni Hermoso on the lips during the presentation ceremony. The incident has ignited a firestorm of criticism and raised discussions about consent and appropriate conduct.
In a striking demonstration of support for her son, Bejar has taken refuge within the Divina Pastora church in Motril, a town on the southern coast of Spain where Rubiales was raised. Speaking to the Spanish news agency EFE, Bejar declared that her hunger strike would be relentless, continuing "indefinite, day and night."
The controversy stems from the incident during the Women's World Cup final presentation ceremony in Sydney on August 20. Hermoso, 33, asserted that the kiss was not consensual, prompting a wave of condemnation aimed at Rubiales, 46.
Despite the backlash, Rubiales expressed his intent not to resign on Friday. However, on Saturday, he was suspended by Fifa, the world football governing body.
The Divina Pastora church in Motril has become a focal point for the ongoing situation, with Spanish media converging on the site.
Vanessa Ruiz, Rubiales' cousin and a family spokesperson, voiced the family's frustration with the media scrutiny: "We are suffering a lot for him. He has been judged before his time... We want them to leave us alone and for Jenni to tell the truth. It's not fair."
Amid the turmoil, the Spanish government has called upon Spain's Sports Tribunal (TAD) to suspend Rubiales, a matter that will be deliberated during a TAD meeting on Monday.
Additionally, the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) has summoned regional federations for an "extraordinary and urgent" meeting on the same day, aimed at assessing the federation's current situation.
As the saga unfolds, Fifa has instructed Rubiales, the RFEF, and their respective officials not to engage with Jenni Hermoso, signalling their intent to address the situation directly.
The controversy has cast a shadow over Spanish football and ignited discussions not only about Rubiales' conduct but also about the broader issue of respect and consent in sports and public life.">