'As a mother, it really hurts': Sarina Wiegman addresses Luis Rubiales row as she wins UEFA award

'This team deserves to be celebrated,' Sarina Wiegman told the UEFA audience on Thursday night, as ITV News' Ellie Pitt reports

Lionesses head coach Sarina Wiegman has dedicated her UEFA Women's Coach of the Year Award to the Spanish national team in light of the Luis Rubiales scandal.

Accepting the award at the ceremony in Monaco on Thursday night, Wiegman addressed the ongoing row that has prompted protests and fury in Spain.

After beating England 1-0 in the Women's World Cup Final, Spain's success has been tainted by the controversy surrounding Rubiales, who has refused to quit his role as the country's FA president after kissing player 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.

Rubiales kisses Spain's Aitana Bonmati on the cheek, and soon after Jenni Hermoso on the lips, following their win. Credit: AP

Wiegman took the stage and addressed the row: "We all know the issues about the Spanish team and it really hurts, as a coach, as a mother of two daughters, as a wife, as a human being," she said.

"And it shows... The game has grown so much, but there's also still a long way to go in women's football and in society.

"And I would like to dedicate this award to the Spanish team, the team that played at the World Cup - such great football that everyone enjoyed.

"This team deserves to be celebrated and deserves to be listened to."

On Wednesday, UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin described the behaviour of Spanish Football Federation president Rubiales as "inappropriate" - but called for FIFA's investigation to be allowed to run its course.

All of Spain's 23 World Cup winners, plus another 58 players, have said they will not represent their country until Rubiales has left his post.

Wiegman's success with the Lionesses has been mighty - taking the team to two major tournament finals, and has prompted speculation about her future as manager.

Protests have taken place in the streets of Madrid against Luis Rubiales. Credit: AP

But the Dutchwoman recently responded to reports she is being lined up to manage the men's England team.

"I have a contract until 2025 and I don't have any plans of leaving," Wiegman told ITV News.

"I'm really, really enjoying the job... I'm very happy in the women's game."

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