Spanish Football Federation President Luis Rubiales apologizes for Jenni Hermoso’s kiss that sparked outrage

Spanish Football Federation President Luis Rubiales apologized Monday after a controversial moment during the Women's World Cup ceremony when he received backlash for kissing Jenni Hermoso.

Many winced to see Rubiales kissing Hermoso on stage during the trophy and medal ceremony while cupping his hands over her head. He also added fuel to the fire of hate when he called critics “idiots.”

“I certainly made a mistake,” Rubiales said of the kiss and his reaction, according to ESPN.


Luis Rubiales kisses the Spanish player on the cheek

Spain's Alexia Putellas and Luis Rubiales during the FIFA Women's World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023 Final match between Spain and England at Australia Stadium on August 20, 2023 in Sydney, Australia. (Stephanie Meek – CameraSport via Getty Images)

“I have to accept it. In a moment of such emotion, what happened without ill intent or malicious intent happened in a very spontaneous way.” [There was] No ill will from either side.

Hermoso said after the ceremony: “Yeah, I didn't enjoy that,” according to The Telegraph. However, she later downplayed that comment, telling Cadena COPE that Rubiales' gesture was “no big deal.”

The Spanish Football Federation president's kiss on Jennifer Hermoso after winning the Women's World Cup sparks controversy

“It was a mutual, totally spontaneous gesture because of the great joy of winning a World Cup,” she said. “The ‘President' and I have a great relationship. His attitude toward us was a '10'.” It was a natural gesture of affection and gratitude. … We won a World Cup and we won't part with what's important.”

Rubiales said, “We saw it as something natural and normal.”

“But outwardly it caused a stir because people felt hurt by it, so I have to apologize; there is no alternative,” explained Rubiales. “I have to learn from this and understand that a president of an institution as important as the Federation should be more careful – especially with ceremonies and things like that.”

Jennifer Hermoso celebrates

A smiling Jennifer Hermoso of Spain with the FIFA Women's World Cup Winners Trophy after the FIFA Women's World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023 Final match between Spain and England at Australia Stadium on August 20, 2023 in Sydney, Australia. (Joe Prior/Visionhaus via Getty Images)

There was outrage over the situation on social media.

“The worrying fact here is the casual way Rubiales is behaving towards Hermoso,” wrote one user on X. “The FA President is doing so on sport's biggest stage with royalty and officials close by, surrounded by cameras. Very disturbing and frankly worrying.”

The Spanish Equal Opportunities Minister Irene Montero also commented on social media.

“Let's not assume that giving a kiss without consent is something that happens,” she wrote. “It is a form of sexual violence that women suffer on a daily basis that has been invisible and that we cannot normalize. It is the task of society as a whole. agreement in the middle. Only yes is yes.”

Luis Rubiales leaves the field

Luis Rubiales, President of the Royal Spanish Football Federation, looks on before the FIFA Women's World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023 semi-final match between Spain and Sweden at Eden Park on August 15, 2023 in Auckland / Tāmaki Makaurau, New Zealand. (Maja Hitij – FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)


Spain won their first-ever World Cup on Sunday when they defeated England 1-0, behind Olga Carmona's 29th-minute goal.

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