The President of the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF), Luis Rubiales, has publicly apologized for an incident in which he gave Spain’s star player, Jennifer Hermoso, an unwanted kiss on the lips following the team’s victory in the Women’s World Cup final against England.
The incident, which occurred during FIFA’s awards ceremony after the final match, has sparked widespread criticism and condemnation from politicians and journalists alike, with many labeling Rubiales’ behavior as “unacceptable” and “disgusting.”
In a video statement, Rubiales expressed his regret for the incident, acknowledging that he had made a mistake. He clarified that there was no ill intent behind the kiss and that it happened spontaneously in a moment of elation. He emphasized that there was a good relationship between him and the players, including Jennifer Hermoso.
Rubiales went on to express his sincere apologies to anyone who felt offended by the incident, and he acknowledged that the situation had garnered attention beyond their initial understanding within the team.
Jennifer Hermoso, in an Instagram live video, shared her perspective on the incident, stating that she didn’t expect the kiss but believed it was a result of the emotion of the moment. She downplayed its significance, considering it an anecdote of the time.
Despite the controversy surrounding the incident, Rubiales defended the team’s victory, urging people to celebrate the remarkable achievement of the Spanish women’s football team. He expressed his pride in their success and stressed the need to respect and acknowledge their achievements.
The incident has led to calls for Rubiales’ resignation by some political figures, while Spain’s Minister of Culture and Sport, Miquel Iceta, described the kiss as “unacceptable” and called for an explanation from Rubiales.
In the aftermath of Spain’s historic victory in the Women’s World Cup, this incident has drawn attention to issues of personal boundaries and respect in the world of sports, prompting a broader discussion about appropriate behavior in such contexts.