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WOMEN'S FOOTBALL

Spain’s ex-soccer boss Rubiales due in court in sex assault investigation

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Former Spanish soccer chief Luis Rubiales will appear before a High Court judge on Friday over a complaint of sexual assault stemming from his allegedly unsolicited kiss on the lips of player Jenni Hermoso – an incident that has triggered a furore over sexism in Spanish sport and society.

The events of Aug. 20 eclipsed the national women team’s World Cup victory in Sydney and led to protests similar to the Me Too movement, prompting other women to come forward with reports of sexist treatment and assaults.

It also sent a shudder through the male-dominated ranks of Spain’s football establishment.

Rubiales, 46, has maintained that the kiss was mutual and consensual. After weeks of resisting calls for him to step down as president of the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF), Rubiales, already suspended by FIFA, finally quit on Sept. 10.

But he remains unrepentant.

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“I am a good person, that in a moment of maximum happiness, with consent, asking beforehand…In truth, there can be no other intention than the celebration and the joy itself,” he told British television interviewer Piers Morgan on Sunday.

He likened the celebratory atmosphere in Sydney to winning a lottery or seeing a war ending, situations in which he said “people don’t ask permissions”.

Deputy Prime Minister Yolanda Diaz has called his actions “shameful” and said they showed that male chauvinsim was stil systemic in Spanish society.

On Sept. 8, prosecutor Marta Durantez Gil filed a complaint with the High Court against Rubiales after Hermoso told prosecutors that Rubiales kissed her on the mouth without her consent while holding her head with both hands at the medals ceremony.

The prosecutor added a possible crime of coercion after Hermoso said she and her relatives were put under pressure by Rubiales and his entourage to say that she “justified and approved what happened”.

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Judge Francisco de Jorge is in charge of an investigation that has to precede any formal charges under Spanish law, and will decide whether the case will go to trial. If it does, he could face between one and four years imprisonment.

De Jorge has ordered several media, including state broadcaster TVE, to send him footage of the incident and subsequent videos such as one of the players celebrating on a bus with Rubiales and referring to the kiss in what appeared to be a light-hearted manner. The investigation could take several months.

Friday’s hearing is behind closed doors.

The legal case will also be a public test of the leftist coalition government’s flagship “Solo si es si” (Only yes is yes) law that puts consent at the heart of sexual relations.

Many players, sports bodies and politicians have backed Hermoso in a campaign coalescing around the hashtag #SeAcabó (It’s Over) on social media, showing the nation’s increasing intolerance to abuse.

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Spain’s top 87 female players, including the 23 world champions, have refused to play for the national team until there are changes in the RFEF management line-up and style.

The RFEF has since sacked women’s team coach Jorge Vilda, appointing his assistant Montse Tome instead as the first woman at its helm.

Striker Olga Carmona said this week that the players were yet to determine if changes were enough for them to return to the team.

-Reuters

 

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Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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WOMEN'S FOOTBALL

CAF Women’s Champions League Qualifiers draw holds on Wednesday

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The 2024-2025 women’s interclub football season will officially kick off on Wednesday, 24 July, with the draw for the CAF Women’s Champions League qualifiers in 4 zones: UNAF, UNIFFAC, WAFU B and CECAFA.

The draw will be conducted at 10:00 GMTat the CAF Headquarters in Egypt and live-streamed on CAF TV and CAFOnline.com. 

Below are the teams entered by zone and the dates of the qualifying tournaments:

WAFU B (10 – 23 August): Ainonvi FC (Benin), Hasaacas Ladies (Ghana), Inter d’Abidjan (Côte d’Ivoire), AO Étincelles OU USFA (Burkina Faso), AS Garde Nationale (Niger), Edo Queens (Nigeria), ASKO de Kara (Togo).

UNAF (21 – 31 August): CF Akbou (Algeria), Tutankhamun (Egypt), AS Far (Morocco), ASF Sousse (Tunisia)

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CECAFA (17 August – 4 September): PVP Buyenzi (Burundi), FAD (Djibouti), CBE FC (Ethiopia), Kenya Police Bullets (Kenya), Kawempe Muslim (Uganda), Rayon Sports (Rwanda), Yei Joint Stars (South Sudan), Simba Queens (Tanzania), Warriors Queens (Zanzibar)

UNIFFAC (16 – 24 August): Lekié FF (Cameroon), TP Mazembe (DR Congo), Atlético de Malabo (Equatorial Guinea), CSM Diables Noirs (Congo)

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WOMEN'S FOOTBALL

Colombia 2024: Danjuma invites 32 as countdown begins to Final Tournament

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Flying Eagles, Falconets To Resume Camp On Thursday -

With just eight weeks to their first match of the FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup Colombia 2024, Head Coach Chris Musa Danjuma has called up four goalkeepers, eight defenders, eight midfielders and 12 strikers to a training camp in the Federal Capital, Abuja in the first phase of preparation for the global tournament.

Team captain Oluchi Ohaegbulem is top of the list, with first-choice goalkeeper Faith Omilana, defenders Shukurat Oladipo and Comfort Folorunsho, midfielders Chinyere Kalu, Adoo Yina and Rofiat Imuran, and forwards Janet Akekoromowei, Flourish Sabastine and Aminat Bello also called.

Nigeria, a fixture at the FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup finals since the tournament began as an U19 event in Canada 22 years ago, will contend with three-time winners Germany, Asian powerhouse Korea Republic and South American representatives Venezuela in group D of the competition scheduled for three Colombian cities, 31st August – 22nd September.

All the invited are expected at Serob Legacy Hotel, Wuye, Abuja on Sunday, 7th July.

ALL THE INVITED PLAYERS:

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Goalkeepers: Anderline Mgbechi (Delta Queens); Rachael Unachukwu (Nasarawa Amazons); Faith Omilana (Naija Ratels); Shukura Bakare (Nasarawa Amazons)

Defenders: Oluchi Ohaegbulem (Nasarawa Amazons); Jumoke Alani (Nasarawa Amazons); Shukurat Oladipo (FC Robo Queens); Oluwabunmi Oladeji (Naija Ratels); Folashade Adegbemile (Delta Queens); Chidera Okenwa (Delta Queens); Comfort Folorunsho (Edo Queens); Taiwo Lawal

Midfielders: Adoo Yina (Nasarawa Amazons); Olushola Shobowale (Nasarawa Amazons); Aminat Folorunsho (Rivers Angels); Chioma Olise (Edo Queens); Chinyere Kalu (Nasarawa Amazons); Joy Igbokwe (Naija Ratels); Rofiat Imuran (Stade de Reims, France); Zikora Agama (Naija Ratels)

Forwards: Delight Nwosu (Dannaz Ladies); Adaobi Okah (Remo Stars Ladies); Chiamaka Okwuchukwu (Rivers Angels); Chinaza Agoh (Delta Queens); Mary Nkpa (Heartland Queens); Chiamaka Osigwe (Edo Queens); Janet Akekoromowei (Asisat Academy); Mary Offor (Adamawa Queens); Flourish Sabastine (Stade de Reims, France); Sharon Ulumma (Heartland Queens); Aminat Bello (Otero College, USA); Reilly Adebowale (Bohemian FC, Republic of Ireland)   

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Nigeria’s Flamingos drawn against debuting hosts in FIFA U-17 World Cup

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The Flamingos, Nigeria’s U-17 women’s football team have been drawn against hosts, Dominican Republic for the finals of the Women’s U-17 World Cup holding from 16 October to 3 November in two host cities of Santo Domingo  and Santiago de los Caballeros.

 Both Nigeria and Dominican Republic are drawn in Group A along with Ecuador and New Zealand.  In Group B are Spain, USA, Korea Republic and Colombia.

Group C has  Korea DPR, Mexico, Kenya and England while those competing in Group D are  Japan , Poland, Brazil and Zambia.

The hosts will make their debut in the competition on 16 October against Ecuador in Santiago de los Caballeros, with New Zealand and Nigeria completing Group A.

Herrera, the first Dominican woman to reach the summit of Mount Everest, had a special message for her compatriots taking part in the World Cup. She said: “I am the living example that you can achieve your dreams. So, keep up the good work. I am looking forward to seeing those amazing games.”

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Reigning champions Spain, meanwhile, will kick off their campaign in Group B, in which they will face USA, Korea Republic and Colombia, runners-up last time around.

“The advice to all the players that will participate here is to be confident and go live your dream. ¡Y Buena suerte!” said Flores, who took part in this tournament two years ago in India.

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