Spanish FA president’s kiss on Jennifer Hermoso after Women’s World Cup victory sparks controversy
Spain stunned the world on Sunday when they defeated England to win their first World Cup title, but controversy rose during the trophy celebration.
Spanish FA president Luis Rubiales joined La Roja on the stage and greeted members of the team. Rubiales was seen on the stage putting his hands over Hermoso’s head and giving her a kiss. He patted her on the back as she left the stage.
The exchange prompted outrage on X, the company formerly known as Twitter. Hermoso was later asked about it on Spain’s La 1.
“Yeah, I did not enjoy that,” she said, via The Telegraph.
Hermoso later told Cadena COPE the gesture was “no big deal.” She also downplayed it in an interview with Spain’s EFE.
“It was a mutual, totally spontaneous gesture because of the huge joy of winning a World Cup,” she said. “The ‘presi’ and I have a great relationship. His behavior with us has been a ’10.’ It was a natural gesture, of affection and gratitude . . . We’ve won a World Cup, and we won’t get away from what’s important.”
Rubiales said those who were critical over him were “idiots,” according to ESPN.
“There are idiots everywhere,” Rubiales added. “When two people have a gesture of affection, that isn’t important, we can’t pay attention to idiocy. We’re [world] champions and I’ll focus on that.”
Spanish Equality Minister Irene Montero reacted on X.
“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 and until now invisible, and that we cannot normalize. It is the task of the whole society. Consent in the center. Only yes is yes.”
Spain’s win was a culmination of everything they’ve been through over the course of the year. There was friction within the women’s team against coach Jorge Vilda.
More than a dozen players signed a letter complaining about Vilda back in September and the conditions for the national team. Players insisted they didn’t want Vilda’s dismissal.
Rubiales remarked on the win amid all the turmoil that took place.
“It is often said that it takes a little time to realize an achievement like this, but I am perfectly aware,” Rubiales said. “We have worked very hard, although there were people who did not want to let us work. I think we have to learn in Spain to value positive things. To let people do their job.
“That small percentage of people who were constantly frustrated and resentful must learn that you have to let people work.”
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