Luis Rubiales kissed Spain’s striker Jennifer Hermoso.
Hermoso did not approve of the kiss and called it “unpleasant”.
RFEF has defended the kiss as a “spontaneous display of affection”.
Luis Rubiales, the President of the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF), drew attention when he kissed Spain’s striker, Jennifer Hermoso, during the awards ceremony following Spain’s World Cup triumph over England with a score of 1-0.
The victory came through a goal scored by Olga Carmona, the 23-year-old left-back, in the 29th minute. This achievement also made Carmona the second-youngest player to score in both the semi-final and final of a single FIFA Women’s World Cup edition, with only the United States’ Alex Morgan in 2011 being younger.
After the final match, Rubiales joined the celebration on the field and handed out gold medals to the players. He greeted each player with a cheek kiss while presenting the medals, but his kiss on the lips to the 45-year-old Hermoso was unexpected. Fans quickly highlighted this action on social media, leading to criticism and discussions.
In an Instagram live session, the striker did not approve of the incident as According to a post on X by Spanish journalist Irati Vida, she said: “Hey, I didn’t like it, eh.”
Spain’s government minister Irene Montero talked about the incident and called the incident a form of “sexual violence”.
“It’s a form of sexual violence women suffer on a daily basis,” she said. “We should not assume kissing without consent is something ‘that happens.”
RFEF released a statement in which she was cited as describing the kiss as a “spontaneous display of affection.”
“It was a totally spontaneous mutual gesture because of the immense joy that winning a World Cup brings,” she added.
The FA president told Spanish broadcaster COPE that it was nothing more than a “kiss between two friends” and anyone who sees it the other way is an “idiot and stupid”.
“Let’s ignore them and enjoy the good things,” he added.
Spain has joined the ranks of Women’s World Cup champions as the fifth team to do so, following the USA with four wins, Germany with two, and Norway and Japan with one each. Until this year’s tournament, Spain had only managed to win a single match in previous editions.
It’s worth mentioning that there was a controversy involving Spain’s national team, known as La Roja, last year. Fifteen players made it clear that they no longer wished to be considered for selection due to their coach Jorge Vilda’s strict demeanor.
Despite the absence of 12 out of those 15 players, the Spanish team has still achieved victory in the World Cup.
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