The president of the Spanish Football Association (FA), Luis Rubiales, has issued an apology after facing backlash for his actions during the Women’s World Cup final victory celebration.
Rubiales had come under fire for kissing player Jenni Hermoso on the lips without her consent, igniting a wave of criticism and calls for his resignation.
In a video address, Rubiales acknowledged his mistake and expressed regret for his actions.
He began by praising the Spanish team’s historic achievement but acknowledged the need to address the incident.
Unwanted Kiss and Controversial Gesture: Rubiales’ Apology and Reflection
During the celebration, Rubiales also planted a kiss on the cheek of goalscorer Olga Carmona and was captured on video making an obscene gesture while standing beside Queen Letizia.
In his apology, Rubiales explained that the incidents occurred in the heat of the moment and without any malicious intent.
He emphasized that he valued his relationship with female players and admitted that he should have exercised better judgment as the president of an important institution like the Spanish FA.
Public Outcry and Resignation Calls: Rubiales Faces Criticism
The controversy surrounding Rubiales’ actions escalated as politicians and sports figures called for his resignation.
Spain’s acting Equality Minister, Irene Montero, accused Rubiales of committing “sexual violence” for the unsolicited kiss on Jenni Hermoso.
Rubiales initially downplayed the incident as a friendly gesture, but Jenni Hermoso expressed her discomfort with the kiss in a live online stream from the dressing room.
Anna Caula, General Secretary of Sport for the regional Catalan government, labeled the kiss a “harsh aggression” and highlighted the need for progress in gender equality within football.
Political Figures Demand Accountability: Calls for Rubiales to Step Down
Several politicians voiced their outrage over Rubiales’ behavior.
Marta Lois, a parliamentary spokesperson for the left-wing coalition party Sumar, condemned the “sexist behavior” towards Jennifer Hermoso and demanded Rubiales’ resignation.
Other political figures, including Pablo Echenique from the hard-left party Podemos, criticized Rubiales for his alleged inappropriate gestures, including a video showing him grabbing his crotch during the celebration.
The controversy surrounding Rubiales’ actions ignited discussions about gender norms and respectful conduct within the sports community.
Player’s Perspective and Relationship with Rubiales
Jennifer Hermoso, the player at the center of the controversy, characterized the kiss as a “mutually and totally spontaneous gesture” and maintained that she had a positive relationship with Rubiales.
She explained that her discomfort with the kiss was not intended to cast doubt on their rapport.
However, the incident shed light on the importance of consent and respectful behavior in professional settings, prompting broader conversations about appropriate conduct in sports and beyond.Share on Facebook «||» Share on Twitter «||» Share on Reddit «||» Share on LinkedIn