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A Spanish court has issued a restraining order against Luis Rubiales, the former head of Spain’s football federation, preventing him from approaching footballer Jenni Hermoso within 200 meters.

The order came as the court considers allegations of sexual assault and coercion against Rubiales after he kissed Hermoso on the lips following Spain’s Women’s World Cup victory. Rubiales denies the accusations, insisting the kiss was consensual.

He recently resigned from his position, and this incident has cast a shadow over the national team, leading to ongoing disputes and a potential boycott. Prosecutors have submitted charges of sexual assault and coercion, citing pressure on Hermoso to defend Rubiales after the incident.

The case’s outcome may be influenced by Spain’s recent legal reforms regarding consent. Hermoso is set to provide testimony, and videos from the event will be crucial in determining if the case goes to trial.

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In hot and humid conditions at the US Open 2023, Daniil Medvedev secured his spot in the semi-finals by defeating Andrey Rublev, expressing concerns about the extreme weather. Despite apparent breathing difficulties, the third seed managed to beat his fellow Russian with a score of 6-4, 6-3, 6-4.

Medvedev, who won the 2021 US Open, is set to face Carlos Alcaraz next after the defending champion defeated Alexander Zverev 6-3, 6-2, 6-4. The semi-finals for both men will take place at Flushing Meadows on Friday.

The match between Medvedev and Rublev occurred under a partially closed roof due to a heatwave, with temperatures reaching around 35C. Both players struggled with the extreme conditions, taking extended breaks between sets and using various methods to cool down.

Medvedev compared the conditions to the challenging weather he experienced during the Tokyo Olympics in 2021 and emphasized that both players were affected. Rublev, who has yet to reach a major semi-final, was a break up early in each set, but Medvedev managed to shift the momentum each time.

Medvedev secured the victory and the semi-final spot despite facing challenges with his breathing, using an inhaler, and taking medical timeouts. He highlighted the resilience of both players, acknowledging Rublev’s determination never to give up.

In another semi-final match, last year’s champion, Carlos Alcaraz, and Novak Djokovic are expected to compete for a place in the final. Djokovic, aiming for his 24th major title, will face young American Ben Shelton in the first match. Both Alcaraz and Djokovic are considered strong contenders for the championship.

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Amidst the controversy surrounding the Spanish Football Federation President Luis Rubiales, his mother has commenced a hunger strike as a protest against what she perceives as an unjust campaign targeting her son.

The controversy stemmed from Rubiales’ kiss on the lips of player Jenni Hermoso during Spain’s Women’s World Cup final victory. Angeles Bejar, Rubiales’ mother, has taken refuge in a church in Motril and has declared her hunger strike to be an indefinite, continuous effort.

Rubiales has been criticized and faced calls for his resignation due to the incident. Despite his refusal to step down, he was suspended by FIFA. The media has congregated outside the church in Motril, where Rubiales grew up, as Bejar expresses her frustration with the unwarranted scrutiny her son is facing.

The Spanish government has requested the suspension of Rubiales via the Spain’s Sports Tribunal, and the Spanish Football Federation has called for an urgent meeting to assess the situation. FIFA has also instructed Rubiales, the federation, and its members to refrain from contacting Hermoso, who had earlier been threatened with legal action by the federation.

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The Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) has announced its intention to pursue legal recourse in response to statements made by Jenni Hermoso concerning the federation’s president, Luis Rubiales. This follows a controversial incident where Rubiales kissed Hermoso on the lips after Spain’s Women’s World Cup victory over England. While Hermoso claimed that she did not give consent for the kiss, the RFEF disputes her account and asserts that evidence supports Rubiales’ innocence.

Represented by the players’ union Futpro, Hermoso has stated that she did not attempt to lift President Rubiales during their embrace on the podium. In response, the RFEF has released images of the embrace along with a detailed analysis, asserting that Hermoso did indeed exert force to raise Rubiales off the ground.

The RFEF expressed its intent to initiate legal actions against Hermoso or any party involved in spreading what they deem to be false information. This move comes amidst larger tensions within Spanish football, as 81 female players have declared their refusal to represent Spain’s national team until Rubiales steps down. The controversy has even extended to the men’s team, with Real Betis striker Borja Iglesias also announcing his refusal to play under Rubiales’ leadership.

The RFEF’s decision to pursue legal action follows international criticism of Rubiales’ behavior at the Women’s World Cup final. Rubiales had faced calls for resignation from government ministers, and Fifa had initiated disciplinary proceedings against him. Despite mounting pressure, Rubiales remained defiant and vowed to continue his position as president, asserting that the kiss was consensual and mutual.

The situation has also spurred solidarity among players, as evidenced by wristbands worn during a National Women’s Soccer League game in the United States, which bore the message ‘Contigo Jenni’ (With you Jenni). Prominent players like Alex Morgan have expressed their support for Hermoso and the Spanish players, condemning the alleged assault, misogyny, and failures of the Spanish federation.

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Luis Rubiales, the president of the Spanish football federation, has declined to step down from his position despite controversy surrounding his behavior at the Women’s World Cup final.

After Spain’s 1-0 victory over England, Rubiales kissed forward Jenni Hermoso on the lips and made a crotch-grabbing gesture during celebrations. He addressed an extraordinary general assembly convened by the federation, stating that he would not resign and calling the situation a “social assassination.”

Rubiales apologized for the incidents and expressed his readiness to defend his ideals, asserting that he didn’t deserve the criticism he was facing. Despite calls for his resignation, Rubiales defended the kiss as a spontaneous, mutual, and consensual gesture, stating that he would fight against the backlash.

While some criticized his actions, including Spain’s Prime Minister and a union representing Hermoso, others, including Hermoso herself in a later statement, came to his defense.

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Spain secured their place in the Women’s World Cup semi-finals for the first time with a 2-1 victory over the Netherlands, thanks to a late goal from teenage winger Salma Paralluelo. Mariona Caldentey initially put Spain ahead with an 80th-minute penalty, capitalizing on a handball by Stefanie van der Gragt. However, Van der Gragt redeemed herself by scoring a stoppage-time equalizer. The game headed into extra time, where Paralluelo found the net, securing Spain’s first major semi-final in 26 years.

Despite the Netherlands’ status as runners-up in the 2019 tournament, they were outplayed for much of the match, and Paralluelo’s goal sealed Spain’s victory. Spain will face the winner of the Japan vs. Sweden match in the semi-finals. The match was marked by VAR interventions, including disallowed goals and penalty decisions. Paralluelo’s heroics ultimately stole the spotlight, making her the youngest Spanish scorer in a Women’s World Cup and a rising star in the tournament.

Van der Gragt, who is retiring after the tournament, experienced a rollercoaster of emotions, first conceding a penalty and then scoring an equalizer. The Netherlands, missing Danielle van de Donk due to suspension, struggled to find their rhythm and were largely reliant on their goalkeeper. Despite their manager Jonker’s pride in the team’s progress, their journey in this major tournament came to an end with this defeat.

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Italian and Paris St-Germain goalkeeper, Gianluigi Donnarumma, and his partner faced a terrifying ordeal when they were attacked and robbed at their residence in Paris. According to police sources, several individuals targeted the couple at their flat in the eighth district of the city, where they were subsequently bound. However, they managed to escape to a nearby hotel after the incident.

The hotel staff was alerted, and the couple was taken to the hospital following the traumatic event. The Paris prosecutor’s office stated that an investigation has been launched, focusing on charges of armed robbery by an organized gang and aggravated violence.

While unconfirmed reports suggest that the attackers made away with valuable items such as jewelry, watches, and luxury leather goods worth around €500,000, the footballer sustained only minor injuries, while his partner, Alessia Elefante, remained unharmed, according to sources from Agence France Presse.

It appears that France’s special police unit for armed robbery and burglaries, known as BRB, has initiated a thorough investigation into the incident. Gianluigi Donnarumma, 24, who moved to Paris two years prior, was scheduled to join the Paris St-Germain squad for their upcoming pre-season friendly match against Le Havre and a tour of Japan and South Korea.

Sadly, this is not the first time PSG footballers have been targeted by criminal gangs, though most previous attacks occurred when the players were not at home. For instance, in March 2021, two men were sentenced to jail for robbing the home of Brazil footballer Marquinhos in Yvelines, to the west of Paris. Marquinhos was away playing during the incident, but his father and two teenage daughters were present in the house, with his father suffering some injuries in the assault. Similarly, the home of Marquinhos’s teammate Angel Di Maria was also burgled on the same day.

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James McClean, a football player, has expressed gratitude to his hometown for providing him the courage to pursue his footballing aspirations.

On Monday against Gibraltar, the Creggan-born star earned his 100th cap for the Republic of Ireland.

He is the eighth player in Republic history to win 100 caps.

McClean said to BBC Radio Foyle, “If it wasn’t for what I learned growing up in Creggan, then I wouldn’t be where I am now.

A celebration honouring McClean’s 100 caps will take place later today at the Derry estate, on the street where he originally developed his footballing prowess.

“I’ll be there, and it’ll be lovely to speak with and see the locals again,” he said in an interview with The North West Today show.

“Creggan is my home, and I’m proud of that,” he continued. They are pleased with me too.

They feel invested in my profession, which means a lot to me. I’m one of them, which is a very grounded way to be. I appreciate everything from Creggan.

It’s not the first time Creggan has commemorated one of its famous footballers.

Barcelona has a Messi mural, Naples has a Maradona artwork, and a Central Drive wall in Creggan has a massive McClean mural.

He still thinks the tribute to be surreal.

“I’ll never get accustomed to passing the Creggan mural while walking. I used to kick the ball around the Creggan shops as a child, and now I’m perched on a wall.

“Walking by every day is surreal but also very special for my family.”

McClean, aged 34, has had a long career in England after leaving his hometown club Derry City. He has played for Sunderland, Stoke, Wigan Athletic, and West Bromwich Albion.

It hasn’t been a career without its share of difficulties though; vitriol hurled towards the 34-year-old is widely known.

It’s “different scale” than what other athletes confront, in his perspective. He said that his upbringing had given him the tools to handle the worst of it.

“Most of the time, it’s just water off a duck’s back. You are an outcome of your surroundings. Creggan is resilient and sturdy. I am the same way myself.

Ireland’s newest football centurion is “in a good place right now – and content”.

And he’s not ruling out a return home to where it all started.

“I’ve always been open that I want to end my career at Derry City. At the minute there’s no timeframe for that.”

He added: “You never rule out things because you don’t know what’s around the corner”.

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Victor Wembanyama, the 19-year-old French basketball player, has set his sights on winning an NBA championship ring after being selected as the number one overall pick by the San Antonio Spurs in the 2023 draft. Standing at 7ft 5in with an 8ft wingspan, Wembanyama is considered one of the most promising prospects in the game since LeBron James in 2003.

Wembanyama expressed his goal of learning as much as possible to achieve his dream of winning an NBA championship. The NBA draft consists of two rounds with 30 picks each, and teams select players based on their performance in the previous season, with the worst-performing teams having the opportunity to choose the best incoming talent.

The draft took place in Brooklyn, with NBA commissioner Adam Silver announcing the picks. Wembanyama was overwhelmed with emotion upon hearing his name called as the first pick. French president Emmanuel Macron congratulated him, recognizing him as the first Frenchman to be selected as the top pick in the NBA draft.

Wembanyama had an impressive season playing for Boulogne-Levallois Metropolitans 92 in France, averaging 20.6 points, 10.1 rebounds, 3.0 blocked shots, and 2.5 assists in 44 games. San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich expressed his excitement about having Wembanyama on the team, highlighting his talent and maturity.

LeBron James, star player for the Los Angeles Lakers, had witnessed Wembanyama’s skills during an exhibition game in Las Vegas and described him as a generational talent and an “alien” due to his extraordinary abilities on the court. Wembanyama embraced the term “alien” as a compliment, as he aspires to be something unique and original in the world of basketball.

The second pick in the draft was Brandon Miller, a 6ft 9in player from the University of Alabama, who joined the Charlotte Hornets. Scoot Henderson, who had played in the NBA’s developmental G League, was chosen as the third pick by the Portland Trail Blazers. The Thompson twins, Amen and Ausar, rounded out the top five picks, with Amen joining the Houston Rockets and Ausar being selected by the Detroit Pistons.

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