Spanish football federation chief, Luis Rubiales has drawn heavy criticism in his home country for kissing footballer Jennifer Hermoso on the mouth after the World Cup final in Sydney.
Spain’s women beat England 1-0 to lift their first World Cup but the scenes before the trophy presentation left many in Spain uneasy, including government ministers.
“It is a form of sexual assault that we women suffer every day and that has been invisible until now and we must not normalise it.
“Consent is key. Only a yes is a yes,” Spain’s Equality Minister Irene Montero wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter.
Minister of Social Rights, Ione Belarra also wrote about the incident on X.
“We are all thinking: if they do this in front of the whole of Spain, what will they not do in private? Sexual violence against women must end,” she remarked.
Rubiales hugged all of Spain’s players but the 45-year-old also kissed Hermoso on the mouth after embracing her and kissing her on the cheek.
“I didn’t like it,” the 33-year-old said.
Spain’s World Cup triumph came in spite of a huge row between the squad and coach Jorge Vilda over his methods.
“Some players boycotted the squad before the tournament in protest but Rubiales stuck by his coach.
Rubiales also defended himself over the kiss, telling Radio Marca, “The kiss with Jenni? There are idiots everywhere. When two people share an unimportant gesture of mutual affection, you can’t pay attention to the crap that’s being said.”