The Spanish federation president, Luis Rubiales, has issued an apology for his controversial behaviour at the World Cup final. He kissed and hugged players unceremoniously causing commotion and talk in Spain.
Rubiales was criticized for kissing one of the team’s players, Jenni Hermoso, on the lips during the medal ceremony. Footage has also emerged of him kissing goalscorer Olga Carmona and celebrating Spain’s victory by grabbing his crotch in the VIP area.
Rubiales’ actions were deemed “unacceptable” by Spain’s acting culture and sports minister, Miquel Iceta, who called for an explanation and an apology. In his video statement, Rubiales focused on the kiss with Hermoso and did not address his behaviour in the VIP box.
He expressed regret for his actions, claiming they were spontaneous and without bad intentions. However, he acknowledged that the incident had caused a commotion and apologized for any damage caused.
Spanish Federation President kissing players’ behaviour
Rubiales’ actions come less than a year after a mutiny by 15 Spain players, who withdrew their services due to discontent with the national team set-up. The federation refused to budge, stating that the players could only return if they accepted their mistake and asked for forgiveness.
Neither Hermoso nor Carmona was part of the mutiny. Hermoso initially expressed her dislike for the kiss but later released a statement through the federation, describing it as a mutual and spontaneous gesture.
The World Players’ Union, FIFPRO, condemned Rubiales’ conduct, stating that uninvited physical gestures towards players are inappropriate and unacceptable, especially when initiated by someone in a position of power.