By John Ensor • 21 August 2023 • 8:45
Was it a simple show of affection or an act of inappropriate behaviour? The question lingers after Spanish FA president Luis Rubiales kissed Spain’s football star Jenni Hermoso on the lips.
The incident took place as Hermoso was proceeding to the podium to receive her Women’s World Cup winners’ medal, following Spain’s triumph over England in Sydney on Sunday, August 21, writes The Independent. The victory was sealed by Olga Carmona’s goal on the date of the final match.
After being awarded her medal by Fifa president Gianni Infantino, Hermoso was embraced by Mr Rubiales, who lifted her into the air. A short dialogue between the two ensued, culminating in Mr Rubiales pulling Hermoso close and planting a kiss on her lips.
The act quickly ignited a storm on social media, with fans and former players accusing Mr Rubiales of misconduct. Former England player Casey Stoney tweeted: ‘Would he kiss a male player like this? This is NOT ok.’
Another said: ‘This is harassment, Bro took advantage of the situation.’ While another commented: ‘He kissed and hugged all of them which was already embarrassing but this was cringe-worthy. He should be banned.’
When questioned about the incident, Hermoso spoke to Spanish TV network La 1, stating: ‘Eh… yeah, I did not enjoy that.’ Mr Rubiales, in response to the uproar, told Radio Marca, ‘The kiss with Jenni? There are idiots everywhere. When two people have a minor show of affection, we can’t listen to idiocies. We are champions and that is what stays with me.’
The 33-year-old Hermoso, who has had illustrious stints with Atletico Madrid and Barcelona and now plays for Mexican team Pachuca, adds the World Cup to her impressive career achievements.
Carmona’s goal in the first half, reflecting Spain’s elegant playing style, was enough to secure victory against the Lionesses in Sydney, avenging their loss in the quarter-finals of the previous year’s European Championships.
Hermoso had a penalty thwarted in the second half by England’s goalkeeper Mary Earps, but England failed to level the score, with Jorge Vilda’s team maintaining their lead to win.
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Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina.
He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.
When he's not writing for EWN he enjoys gigging in a acoustic duo, looking after their four dogs, four chickens, two cats, and cycling up mountains very slowly.
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