Spain’s World Cup winning moment has been marred by a nonconsensual kiss by the federation president, Luis Rubiales.
Spain’s Jennifer Hermoso has called for strong action against Luis Rubiales, the President of the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF), after he kissed her on the lips without her consent following Spain’s victory at the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023.
“My union FUTPRO, in coordination with my agency TMJ are taking care of defending my interests and being the interlocutors on this matter,” Hermoso said in a statement Wednesday.
While Rubiales has yet to be penalised for his actions, he is now facing a wave of investigations and complaints concerning the incident during the Women’s World Cup awards ceremony.
The Spanish football federation announced it would hold an emergency meeting of its general assembly and open an internal probe. At the same time, Liga F, the country’s premier club league, said it will file a complaint with the President of the Higher Sports Council, calling for Rubiales’ resignation.
“One of the biggest achievements in Spanish football history was sullied by the shameful behaviour of the highest representative of Spanish football,” Liga F said.
Criticism has also been drawn from Spain’s government officials with the country’s prime minister Pedro Sanchez describing Rubiales’ actions as “unacceptable”.
Rubiales initially attempted to brush off the backlash and described individuals criticising his actions as “idiots”.
“There are idiots everywhere. When two people have a gesture of affection that isn’t important, we can’t pay attention to idiocy. We’re champions, and I’ll focus on that, Rubiales said.
However, the Spanish football president has gone back on his statement and said, “I have to apologise, learn from this, and understand that when you are president, you have to be more careful.”
Despite calls for action across the board, FIFA has yet to comment on the matter.