'It's overshadowed how well they've done': Ella Toone on Rubiales row and World Cup pride

Lioness Ella Toone says Luis Rubiales should quit over the kissing row as the incident "overshadowed" the Women's World Cup Final, as Martha Fairlie reports

Lioness Ella Toone has weighed in on the scandal surrounding Luis Rubiales' future as Spanish FA president, saying: "He shouldn't be in the job anymore for the mistake that he's made."

The England team suffered heartache in the final of the Women's World Cup in Australia after a 1-0 defeat to Spain.

But the World Cup winners' success has been tainted by the ongoing controversy surrounding Rubiales, who has refused to quit after kissing Spain's Jenni Hermoso on the lips after the match.

Prosecutors are now opening a sex abuse investigation into Rubiales and the Spanish football federation has called for his resignation.

Ella Toone, 23, spoke to ITV News on what needs to happen next, as well as the pride she felt by reaching a World Cup final and what it means for the women's game in England.

"He shouldn't be in the job anymore... The right thing should definitely be done," Tyldesley-born Toone said.

'It's not something that should be happening,' Ella Toone says on the behaviour of Luis Rubiales

"Now something like that has overshadowed how well the Spanish national team have done, they've just won a World Cup and yet all that's being spoken about is that which is a shame."

The Lionesses, she admits, were not expecting the fallout.

"None of us expected something like this to happen but unfortunately it still is.

"It's just another thing that we're talking about and having to fight for and standing in solidarity with Jenni Hermoso and the Spanish national team as lionesses.

Ella Toone celebrates opening the scoring against Australia in the semi-final. Credit: PA

"We're all in it together - we're all speaking because we know it's not something that should be happening.

"Spain have just won a World Cup and women's football is on the rise."

Her reflections on the game are initial "heartache" but Toone - who put England 1-0 up in their nail-biting semi-final against Australia - said it is just "pride" that remains now.

"Looking back now, it's so much pride."

"We've done everyone proud and we should be so proud of ourselves for how far we've come and how much we've grown the women's game.

Toone in action at the Women's World Cup final. Credit: PA

"The main thing for us is inspiring the next generation of young girls and boys to get started in their football journey.

"Another thing is equal access and equal opportunity for those young people getting involved."

Questions were raised about absences from notable British figures at the final - FA President Prince William and Prime Minister Rishi Sunak did not travel to Australia for the game.

But Toone explained the non-appearances did not affect any of the players.

Toone says she is also inspiring young boys as well as girls in football

"I suppose it's the other side of the world isn't it? It's a long way," she said.

"But for us, it was just about going out there, enjoying the game, and making everyone at home really proud.

"When you're away on camp for a long time you have your own little bubble, and nothing comes into that bubble and nothing gets out of it either. So for us, it was just focusing on that."

There was a host of support from the men's national team, however, who all joined in to wish the Lionesses good luck in a video posted to social media.

They also sent their best wishes in private, too, Toone said: "I got a few nice messages from players, Marcus Rashford had my shirt on, and Mason Mount as well.

'She's in contract with us so hopefully she does stay': Ella Toone on the future of head coach Sarina Wiegman

"Stuff like that is really nice, the support from them is amazing - we obviously support them when they go into major tournaments so it's nice for them to support us as well.

"I think a lot of us didn't think things were possible and now we're in it and we're only wanting to grow the game even more and have equal access and opportunities like the men.

"Its definitely growing and come a long, long way in a short space of time."

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