Luis Rubiales: Spanish soccer chief apologizes for giving Women’s World Cup winner an unwanted kiss on the lips
Royal Spanish Soccer Federation (RFEF) President Luis Rubiales has admitted he “made a mistake” by giving Spain star Jennifer Hermoso an unwanted kiss on the lips after the 33-year-old acquired her gold medal following the group’s Girls’s World Cup ultimate victory over England on Sunday.
Rubiales has confronted widespread criticism for the incident, with politicians and journalists labeling his conduct “unacceptable” and “merely disgusting.”
“There’s an occasion, which I’ve to remorse, which is every thing that occurred between the participant and I, with an impressive relationship between the two of us, the identical as with the others,” the RFEF boss said in a video statement.
“And nicely, I absolutely made a mistake, I’ve to acknowledge that. In a second of elation, with none intention of dangerous religion, nicely, what occurred occurred – I feel in a really spontaneous means. I repeat, there was no dangerous religion between both of the two of us.
“Right here, we didn’t perceive it as a result of we noticed one thing pure, regular and under no circumstances, I repeat, with dangerous religion. However outdoors of the bubble, it seems prefer it has was a storm and so, if there are individuals who have felt offended, I’ve to say I’m sorry.”
Rubiales was on stage for FIFA’s awards ceremony following the ultimate, together with different dignitaries, together with soccer’s world governing physique president Gianni Infantino, Spain’s Queen Letizia and Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese.
Video reveals Rubiales embracing Hermoso, then placing each arms on her head earlier than kissing her. He then pats her on the again as she walks away.
“Hey, I didn’t prefer it, eh,” says Hermoso as she apparently solutions questions on the incident in an Instagram stay video – a clip of which was shared by Spanish journalist Irati Vida on X, the platform previously referred to as Twitter.
Noe Llamas/Sport Press Photograph/Zuma Press
Rubiales embraces Hermoso simply earlier than video confirmed him kissing her.
Later in the Instagram stay video – taken in Spain’s locker room – Hermoso fields a query from one other girl: “However what had been you doing, sis?” The 33-year-old replies: “However what am I presupposed to do?”
On the radio program ‘El Tiempo de Juego’ on Cadena COPE, Hermoso spoke of the kiss on Sunday, saying “she didn’t count on it” however that “it was due to the emotion of the second, there’s nothing extra there. It’s simply going to be an anecdote [of the time]. I’m completely positive it gained’t be blown up extra.”
Requested by Radio Marca about the incident with Hermoso, Rubiales replied: “The kiss with Jenni? There are idiots throughout. When two individuals have a second of affection with none significance, we will’t take heed to idiocy. We’re champions and I stick with that.”
In his apology, Rubiales acknowledged he ought to “be extra cautious” when representing the RFEF as president at ceremonies and different necessary occasions.
He additionally adopted up on his “idiocy” comment, explaining he noticed it that means as a result of “inside the bubble, nobody gave it the slightest little bit of significance, however nicely, outdoors they’ve, proper?
“So I additionally need to make an apology to those individuals as a result of I perceive that, if outdoors it was seen in a distinct mild, absolutely they’ve their causes,” he added.
Rubiales completed by saying he was “damage” that this incident has solid a shadow over the group’s victory, describing it as certainly one of the nation’s best sporting successes.
“I feel that we now have to present all of the benefit to those ladies, to the group led by Jorge Vilda and we now have to have a good time it to the skies as a lot as we will,” he stated.
Rubiales took over from Angel Maria Villar in Might 2018 as RFEF president and was then re-elected unopposed, with a brand new four-year mandate in September 2020.
On Monday, Spanish political get together SUMAR called for Rubiales’ resignation, whereas Spain’s Minister of Tradition and Sport, Miquel Iceta, informed RTVE that the kiss was “unacceptable.”
“I feel it’s unacceptable to kiss a participant on the lips to congratulate her. And so far as I’ve seen … I feel it must be stated. All of us deserve respect,” Iceta stated. “I feel, to start with, what he has to do is give an clarification and present his reasoning. I feel that’s the logical and rational factor.”
After Spain’s victory on Sunday, Alberto Ortega, of the Spanish newspaper El Confidencial, posted on X that, “Rubiales taking the trophy from the gamers to present it to Queen Leticia and kissing Jennifer Hermoso on the mouth is just disgusting.”
“A brand new demonstration of the must suck the digicam [be the center of attention] and be the protagonist when it’s not his flip,” added Ortega.
Day by day Mirror journalist Colin Millar, who writes about European soccer for the British newspaper, described Rubiales’ conduct as “not okay.”
“This the spotlight of a footballer’s profession and they’re extremely emotionally charged,” posted Millar on X.
Hermoso wasn’t the solely Spanish participant kissed by Rubiales in the post-match celebrations.
After different members of Spain’s squad acquired their medals, video reveals Rubiales kissing them on the cheeks in addition to holding a few of them in his arms.
One other video clip reveals Rubiales interrupting a gaggle of Spanish gamers celebrating, earlier than kissing Olga Carmona, who scored Spain’s successful purpose in the 1-0 victory over England, on the cheek.
In footage posted by Spain star Salma Paralluelo in an Instagram Reside, Rubiales is pictured coming into the dressing room and telling the Spanish gamers that the RFEF can pay for a visit to Ibiza for them, and that’s the place he’ll marry Hermoso.
CNN has reached out to Hermoso’s agent about the incident and in addition the RFEF’s press officer in Australia for remark, however hadn’t heard again at the time of publication.