Spain PM says football president Rubiales' apology over kiss 'insufficient'

Luis Rubiales kissed Jenni Hermoso on her lips after she collected her medal following the final in Sydney, provoking outrage in Spain.
Spanish Royal Football Federation (RFEF) president Luis Rubiales (C). (Photo | AFP)
Spanish Royal Football Federation (RFEF) president Luis Rubiales (C). (Photo | AFP)

MADRID: Spanish football federation chief Luis Rubiales' apology for kissing star player Jenni Hermoso on the lips after Spain won the Women's World Cup is "insufficient," Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said Tuesday.

Rubiales, 45, kissed Hermoso as he handed the Spanish team gold medals after they beat England 1-0 in the final on Sunday in Sydney, provoking outrage in Spain. He kissed other players on the cheek or embraced them.

"What we saw was an unacceptable gesture," Sanchez told a news conference when asked about the controversy over the unsolicited kiss.

"I also think the apologies given by Mr. Rubiales are insufficient. And I even think that they are inappropriate, and that he must go further," the premier added.

As the controversy over the kiss grew, Rubiales apologised on Monday in a video posted on social media.

"It was done without any ill intention in a moment of the highest exuberance. Here we saw it as natural and normal but outside it has caused a commotion.

"I have no choice but to apologise and to learn from this... and when representing the federation take more care," he said, adding that he thought the furore was "idiotic".

Rubiales on Monday stressed that he had a "magnificent relationship" with Hermoso.

On Sunday, the player posted a video on Instagram showing the celebrations in the changing room in which she responded to teasing from team-mates by saying: "I didn't like it, eh!" while laughing.

She later downplayed the incident in a statement released by the federation, saying it was "a totally spontaneous mutual gesture because of the immense joy that winning a World Cup brings".

"The president and I have a great relationship. His behaviour with all of us has been outstanding and it was a natural gesture of affection and gratitude," she added, according to the federation statement.

Spain's preparations for the World Cup were thrown into disarray last September when 15 players sent an email to the Spanish federation saying they did not want to be considered for selection.

Their protest was aimed chiefly at coach Jorge Vilda and his methods, including complaints that he was too strict.

Rubiales supported Vilda and only three of the 15 were recalled for the World Cup.

Related Stories

No stories found.

The New Indian Express