Spain’s football president Luis Rubiales kisses a player during the World Cup celebrations, sparking outrage

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SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 20: Jorge Vilda, Spain coach, speaks with Luis Rubiales, president of the Royal Spanish Football Federation ahead of the final match of the Australia-New Zealand 2023 Women's World Cup between Spain and England in August.  20, 2023 in Sydney/Gadegal, Australia.  (Photo by Alex Buntling - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)

(LR) Coach Jorge Vilda has complicated feelings about Spain’s Women’s World Cup title. The president of the Spanish Football Federation, Luis Rubiales, has sparked controversy. (Photo by Alex Pantling/FIFA via Getty Images)

Spain’s victory in the Women’s World Cup final on Sunday was a resounding victory. It was only meant to be fun for the players who “were brought up thinking football wasn’t ours,” captain Irene Paredes said on Saturday; Players who challenged the infamous Spain national team Male chauvinist culture, dedicating their lives to football, and raising their country to the pinnacle of sport.

But rather It aroused complex feelings. Subsequently, the president of the Spanish Football Federation, Luis Rubiales, stirred controversy.

During the traditional World Cup medal ceremony, he kisses veteran midfielder Gini Hermoso on the lips.

As the celebrations continued in the locker room, Hermoso and Riley were asked about the kiss, and replied amid laughter and smiles: “Hey, but I didn’t like it!”

She and her colleagues learned that the kiss was caught on video through live television. They were shown on video, and they reacted with wild screams of shock.

This caused confusion and anger among fans. There is no indication that Hermoso and Rubiales were in a relationship, or that the kiss was unwanted. To many, it reeked of the masculinity that still permeates Spanish society.

It was “an attack on (Hermoso) and on all the ladies” who celebrated Spain’s goal in Sunday’s final, wrote Nadia Tonchoni, editor of El País. “What a pity that such a beautiful day ends up being tarnished by such indecency Macrolysmo. What a little sensitivity.”

Rubiales was not done there, though. He later appears in the locker room with his arm around Hermoso. He promised the guys a trip to Ibiza (a popular vacation spot on the island), and He told the whole room that he was going to marry Hermoso.

When asked on Spanish radio about the kiss and the resulting scream, He said: “There are idiots everywhere. When two people show simple affection, we can’t afford to listen to the idiocy.”

His rude reaction reflected, in many ways, his handling of a deeper controversy. Last summer, the women’s national team’s key players raised a series of concerns with coach Jorge Vilda and the federation. They claimed the staff, which was once It is said to be “dictatorial”. She remained unprofessional. They explained that the environment had hurt the team’s performance and their “emotional and personal state”. They felt unsupported, and in September, 15 of them sent emails to the federation indicating that they would decline national team invitations “until the situation is reversed”.

Spain # 20 defender Rosio Galvez is congratulated by Royal Spanish Football Federation President Luis Rubiales (R) next to Spain # 10 Jennifer Hermoso after winning the 2023 Australia/New Zealand Women's World Cup Final between Spain and England at Stadium Australia in Sydney, August 20, 2023 ( Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP) (Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images)

Spain’s Rocio Galvez (20) was congratulated by Spain’s football president Luis Rubiales alongside Jennifer Hermoso (11) during the medal ceremony on Sunday. (Photo by Frank Fife/AFP)

The federation, led by Rubiales, responded with a A stern statement that published those emails, basically vilified players, and turned the past 11 months into a dramatic, divisive, anxiety-ridden mess.

On Sunday, when players won despite such tension and without the many talented teammates who quit the team in protest, Rubiales seemed to look down on those players, or at least everyone who criticized him for his handling of their concerns. .

“We worked so hard to be here – and that despite the fact that some wouldn’t let us,” He said. “It’s a very small percentage, but it was an upsetting percentage.” He concluded by telling these people “not to speak without knowledge”, but he did not make it clear to whom he meant.

Every one of his antics on Sunday stole attention away from the winning players. He made his way through the festivities, enthusiastically hugging the players and posing for pictures with Vilda. Separate photos too It appears to show him kissing a second player, Olga Carmona, on the cheek. (He is also pictured kissing Felda.)

As the video of Hermoso’s kiss went viral, so did the condemnation. Some Spanish journalists pointed out that Union policy on sexual violence It states that “forced kisses” are “unacceptable behavior with immediate consequences”.

FIFA did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the situation. The federation responded by trying to calm the heated controversy. He. She A statement was released that it said was from Hermoso, and read it:

“It was a completely spontaneous and reciprocal gesture because of the immense joy that winning the World Cup gave us. The President and I have a wonderful relationship, his behavior with everyone was excellent, a natural gesture of affection and gratitude. We won the World Cup and we will not lose sight of what is important.”

But Hermoso did not post the statement on social media.

Its only function since the game Video from the airportin which she dizzy tries to get through security with her gold medal around her neck.

The kiss, it seems, did not dampen her joy, but that did not mean that it was harmless.

“This Sunday,” Tonchoni Books At El País, “we celebrated something more than a title. Especially us. The women, girls, and girls of this country, we celebrated that our stubbornness had finally defeated manhood.”

“But there is still a long way to go,” she later concluded. “Because women kiss whoever we want and when we want. Because a kiss on the mouth, taken by surprise, is aggression. Even worse if the kiss comes from a president. We are in 2023. And these gestures are not justified.”

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