Spanish Football Association President, Luis Rubiales has issued an apology after kissing player Jenni Hermoso following his country’s Women’s World Cup final win.
We learnt that Rubiales, 45, was spotted kissing Hermoso on the lips after she collected her medal, provoking an immediate global reaction.
He’s faced heavy backlash for the smooch he planted on Hermoso
Meanwhile, this is the first time Rubiales will come under fire, last year, he was also accused of using federation funds to pay for “orgies” with young girls.
The chief initially defended his kiss with Hermoso and branded critics as “idiots”.
He spoke on radio Marca and said: “When two people have a minor show of affection, we can’t listen to idiocy.
“We are champions and that’s what I’ll take.”
After leading Spanish politicians called for his apology and resignation, Rubiales released a video address today admitting his mistake.
“Certainly I made a mistake and I have to acknowledge that,” Rubiales said in a video posted on social media by Spanish television.
“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”.
Earlier Spain’s sports minister on Monday had demanded that Rubiales apologise.
“I think it is unacceptable to kiss a player on the lips to congratulate her,” acting minister Miquel Iceta told Spanish public radio.
“The first thing he has to do is to give explanations and make apologies, it is the logical and reasonable thing to do,” Iceta said.
The minister added that while the 1-0 victory over England on Sunday in Sydney was “a moment of intense emotions”, public officials “have to be extremely careful because we are giving a message to society and the message is equal rights, it is respect”.