The mother of Spanish soccer chief Luis Rubiales on Monday locked herself inside a church and started a hunger strike to protest against what she called her son's "inhumane treatment" over his grabbing and kissing player Jenni Hermoso, EFE news agency reported.
Rubiales, who is head of the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF), was suspended on Saturday by FIFA amid a furore after he kissed Hermoso on the mouth during the awards ceremony following Spain's World Cup win in Sydney on Aug. 20. Hermoso says she did not want to be kissed.
RFEF has called regional federations to an urgent meeting on Monday to evaluate the situation, which has spiralled into a national argument over women's rights and macho behaviour.
Labour Minister Yolanda Diaz was also due to meet on Monday with representatives of the women's players' union FUTPRO, which represents Hermoso, and the Association of Spanish Footballers to ensure football is a sector "that has decent conditions and spaces free of sexist violence".
Rubiales' mother Angeles Bejar said her strike would last "until a solution is found to the inhumane and bloody hunt they are carrying out against my son with something he does not deserve", according to EFE.
According to EFE, Bejar, who also asked Hermoso to tell the truth and "stick to the version she gave at the beginning", was staying inside the parish church of Divina Pastora in Rubiales' hometown in Motril, southern Spain, with her sister after the parish priest left.
"There is no sexual abuse since there is consent on both sides, as the images prove," Bejar told EFE. She questioned "why they're taking it out on him" and what "is behind this whole story".