Spanish soccer head quitting after controversial World Cup kiss

Sport

Luis Rubiales apologised for the kiss at the Women’s World Cup Final earlier in the week, but also criticised the outrage against him. Image: Getty
Key Takeaways
  • Luis Rubiales apologized Monday after kissing player Jenni Hermoso following Spain’s victory and facing immediate scrutiny from other players and on social media.
  • In his apology—posted to YouTube and translated by AFP—he said he should “take more care” while representing the federation, but added that the outrage over the incident was “idiotic.”
  • Rubiales did not comment on the lack of consent with the kiss—primarily what many online took issue with—but said he saw the kiss as “natural and normal.”
Chief Critic

On Wednesday, Hermoso released a statement in conjunction with the Spanish women players’ union, appealing to the Spanish Football Federation encouraging it to ensure players’ rights following Rubiales’ forced kiss. The world players’ union, FIFPRO, endorsed the call for action in a separate statement, adding it was “deeply lamentable that such a special moment for the players … should be stained” by Rubiales’ content.

Key Background
Spain v Sweden: Semi Final - FIFA Women's World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023

Luis Rubiales, President of the Royal Spanish Football Federation, will reportedly be leaving his position Friday after facing criticism for kissing a player following Spains World Cup win. (Photo by Maja Hitij – FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)

In addition to kissing Hermoso, Rubiales was also seen hugging and kissing other Spanish players on the cheek after their win, and had been seen earlier in the game grabbing and thrusting his crotch. Sexual misconduct allegations haven’t been uncommon in soccer in recent years, though.

Recently, Zambia’s women’s team coach, Bruce Mwape, was accused of rubbing his hands over the chest of one of his players days before a match in July. In Haiti, the former football federation President Yves Jean-Bart was banned for life from the sport after an investigation into sexual harassment allegations found he had “abused his position and sexually harassed and abused various female players, including minors.

This article was first published on forbes.com and all figures are in USD.

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