“Our players have won twice: first on the pitch, and now by teaching the world a lesson, a lesson in gender equality,” Sánchez said.
Spain midfielder Jenni Hermoso joined a massive strike by female players last week, claiming she would not accept being kissed by the country’s suspended football federation president Rubiales after the Spain’s victory in the Women’s World Cup final.
Sánchez, speaking in Malaga, applauded the players’ stance.
Last week, in a statement released by players’ union Futpro, Hermoso and 80 other players said they would not accept an international call-up “if the current leadership continues” at the Spanish football federation (RFEF).
Rubiales, 46, defied expectations and refused to resign, sparking widespread outrage.
Sanchez said Spain was a feminist country, with women who had decided “not to submit again. Never again. It’s over”, in reference to the slogan chanted during demonstrations in support of Hermoso.
On Friday, Spain’s sports court agreed to open an investigation into Rubiales for forced kissing after the scandal-hit football official insisted he would defend himself to ‘prove the truth’.
The government filed a complaint against Rubiales with the National Sports Council (CSD) a week ago, accusing him of “very serious” offences.
In agreeing to take up the case, the Administrative Court for Sport (TAD) declared that it considered the behavior in question to be “serious”, which does not correspond to the characterization of Rubiales’ actions by the government.
Rubiales has been suspended by world governing body FIFA for 90 days while disciplinary action is decided.
For her part, Veronica Boquete, former captain of the national team, told AFP-TV in an interview on Saturday that the scandal was “the straw that broke the camel’s back”.
“It means that when there are no cameras, when there is nobody else, when it’s not a World Cup final, a lot of other things happen, that we normalize and let it happen when this should not be the case,” said Boquete.
The 36-year-old, who plays in Italy with Fiorentina, was dismissed as skipper in 2017.
She lashed out at the management of coach Jorge Vilda who led Spain to the World Cup title last month despite tensions between him and his players.