The mother of embattled Spanish football president Luis Rubiales, who began a hunger strike in support of her son earlier this week, has been taken to hospital after becoming “sad and dizzy”, a local priest has said.
Angeles Bejar locked herself in the Divina Pastora church in her hometown of Motril in southern Spain on Monday, protesting the treatment of her son after FIFA suspended him for forcibly kissing World Cup player Jennifer Hermoso. In the final match.
A priest at the church, who identified himself as Father Antonio, told reporters that Bejar was taken to hospital on Wednesday.
Father Antonio said from outside the church: “I want to tell you that she had a crisis, her condition deteriorated and they needed to be transferred urgently to the hospital.”
“So she wasn’t here anymore and she had to leave for the hospital because the woman was really tired and had a lot of problems already, even some anemia problems so she had to leave.”
Father Antonio said Bejar felt “pain and dizziness” and complained of an irregular heartbeat.
He said her son Rubiales spoke to his mother before she was taken to the hospital.
“Her son [Luis Rubiales] He called her. Yes, he called her and they were in touch. Among all of these [the family] “They decided she needed to go to the hospital,” Father Antonio said.
A friend of Rubiales’ mother previously told CNN Portugal that she had been in “poor health” recently, but thought she would likely “hold out until the end” of her hunger strike.
Bigjar previously said her goal was to protest what she called an “inhumane and bloodthirsty hunt” against her son, according to Spanish media reports.
CNN Portugal reported from the church earlier this week and spoke to a friend of Rubiales’ mother, who called the backlash against Rubiales an “injustice.”
“I don’t think this guy committed sexual assault like they say. That sounds pretty strong to me,” the friend said.
Spain beat England in the World Cup final earlier this month, but the team’s victory was overshadowed by the controversy surrounding Rubiales and widespread anger from the women’s team against his leadership.
Rubiales admitted that he made a mistake while kissing Hermoso, but claimed that the act was consensual. Hermoso insisted that she did not let her kiss her and felt violated by Rubiales’ actions.
Rubiales was suspended by FIFA over the weekend. Under the terms of the suspension, the Spanish Football Federation appointed an interim president to replace Rubiales within 90 days of banning him from participating in all football-related activities.
All 19 regional presidents of the Football Association on Monday called on Rubiales to resign while offering unanimous support to interim president Pedro Rocha.
Pressure has been mounting on Rubiales to step down as president of the Spanish Football Federation since he vehemently refused to do so during a speech to the federation’s extraordinary general assembly on Friday, vowing to “fight until the end.”
Spanish prosecutors are considering the possibility of bringing sexual assault charges against Rubiales.
He also faces continued criticism from players, politicians, union officials and even the United Nations, with demonstrators taking to the streets in Madrid on Monday to escalate demands for his resignation.
“We are all very angry about this because all women have suffered some kind of abuse,” Paloma Torres, a 29-year-old lawyer who protested against Rubiales in Madrid, told CNN on Monday.
“Alcohol enthusiast. Twitter ninja. Tv lover. Falls down a lot. Hipster-friendly coffee geek.”