By Victor Kanayo
There has been heavy backlash against Spanish football President Luis Rubiales, after he ‘deeply kissed’ female player Jenni Hermoso on the lips.
The Spanish football boss kissed the player after Spain won the Women’s World Cup during the presentation ceremony following his country’s 1-0 win over England in Sunday’s final.
Rubiales’ actions were heavily criticised on social media, with ‘dimision ya’ – ‘resign now’ in English – trending on X, formerly known as Twitter, in Spain.
Rubiales told Spanish broadcaster COPE that it was “a kiss between two friends celebrating something” and those who saw it differently as “idiots and stupid people”
Government minister Irene Montero said: “It’s a form of sexual violence women suffer on a daily basis.”
Montero, Spain’s equalities minster, added that up to now it had been “invisible” and that it is something “we can’t normalise”.
“We should not assume kissing without consent is something ‘that happens’,” she said.
In comments later released by the Spanish football federation Hermoso – Spain’s all-time leading scorer – said the moment was a “natural gesture of affection”.
“I didn’t like it,” Hermoso said on Instagram, but a statement released later on her behalf defended Rubiales.