Tuesday, August 29, 2023 – The mother of Spanish football chief Luis Rubiales has locked herself inside a church and gone on a hunger strike in support of her son.
Angeles Bejar demanded an end to the ‘inhumane witch-hunt’ after he kissed Spain player Jenni Hermoso on the lips following their Women’s World Cup triumph.
Rubiales refused to resign as president of the Spanish Football Federation but has been provisionally suspended by world football’s governing body FIFA.
Bejar, a former hairdresser, has locked herself in the Divina Pastora church in Motril, east of Malaga in southern Spain, and started an ‘indefinite, day and night’ hunger strike until ‘justice is served.’
Bejar demanded that Hermoso ‘tell the truth’ after the player insisted the kiss wasn’t consensual.
As reported by Marca, she asked ‘why are they being so cruel to him’ and ‘what is behind the story’ since ‘he is incapable of harming anyone.’
Family members arrived at the church with bottles of water at 2pm local time, looking to speak with Rubiales’ mother.
They had with them a local doctor, who refused to speak to the press in attendance or answer any questions. Angeles is believed to have sneaked into the church early this morning when a cleaner arrived and hid herself until she left.
The parish priest is away in holiday and services are only held twice a week in August and local media reported he would not be back to open the church until 9am on Tuesday.
Rubiales arrived in Motril at the weekend and is said to be staying locally with his daughters and has met up with friends who are ‘backing him the whole way’, according to the reports.
Luis Rubiales’ cousin Vanesa Ruiz Bejar, speaking on behalf of her family, said outside the church: ‘The statement I’m about to make is extremely difficult.
‘My name is Vanesa Ruiz Bejar and I’m Luis Rubiales’ cousin.
‘There’s a campaign of harassment occurring that is very unfair.
‘Luis’ mum who is a very religious person has sought refuge in God and started a hunger strike.
‘She doesn’t want to come out of the church. We are all suffering a lot because of what’s happened to Luis which doesn’t seem at all fair to us.
‘He’s been condemned already without being tried. It’s not normal. We won’t to be left alone. The facts speak for them, there are videos, there are audio recordings.’
In a direct message to Hermoso, she added: ‘Jenni, say the truth.’
‘Why has she changed her version three times? We have suffered a lot, we have had to leave our homes because of the harassment we’re suffering.
‘We won’t to be left alone and see justice done and we want this woman to tell the truth. Jenni, ‘tell the truth!’
She went on to say Angeles Bejar, Luis’ mum, was in a very distressed state, adding: ‘She’s an elderly lady whose health is very delicate and she’s suffering a lot.
‘She’s crying all time and is not able to sleep and is not eating.
‘The person that spends five minutes with Luis knows he’s a really good person with a big heart. He’s a very noble person.’
Asked when Angeles’ hunger strike would continue to, she said referring to Jenni Hermoso: ‘Until that woman speaks and tells the truth. I’m not saying who’s the baddie and who’s the goodie here, but I just want Jenni to tell the truth.
She insisted she had no idea where Luis was and whether he had been able to speak to his mum since she went on hunger strike.
Although it was initially reported Luis’ mum was with a sister, it was subsequently claimed she was with a sister-in-law.
It comes as the Spanish football federation holds another urgent meeting over Rubiales’ future in his post.