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Angeles Bejar (left) is said to have gone on hunger strike. © APA/afp / PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU

Mother of suspended Rubiales on hunger strike

In the kissing scandal surrounding the now suspended Spanish Football Association President Luis Rubiales, the 46-year-old's mother is said to have gone on hunger strike, according to media reports.

The woman locked herself in a church in the Andalusian city of Motril in the south of the country on Monday in protest against what she described as the "inhumane and bloody hunt" for her son, the state television station reported RTVE and other media on site. Accordingly, she wants to continue the strike “day and night” until “justice is served.” The mother said her son was a good person who never harassed anyone, Spanish media reported.

World governing body FIFA has suspended Rubiales for 90 days and initiated disciplinary proceedings. The head of the Spanish national association RFEF kissed player Jennifer Hermoso on the mouth at the award ceremony after winning the World Cup final in Sydney on August 20th - triggering criticism and outrage at home and abroad.

Scandal spreads

The cameras from RTVE showed how numerous journalists, photographers, cameramen and onlookers gathered in front of the Divina Pastora church on Monday afternoon. According to the priest, Rubiales' mother is accompanied by her sister. She is very nervous and crying. A cousin of Rubiales told journalists outside the church: “We are all suffering a lot. He was previously convicted.” Relatives and friends of the 46-year-old are firmly convinced that the kiss was consensual. Hermoso had vehemently denied this version. Another RFEF crisis meeting was planned for Monday.

Many people protested in Motril. © APA/afp / JORGE GUERRERO

In the evening, dozens of people gathered in front of the church to demonstrate for Rubiales. Many of the participants, men and women of all ages, carried placards with slogans such as “STOP Hunting Rubiales. It’s enough!” or “JENNI, why don’t you tell the truth?”. Upon request, the police estimated the number of demonstrators at 200, the news agency reported Europa Press.

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