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Luis Rubiales Apologizes for Kissing Jennifer Hermoso After World Cup Win

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A day after drawing outrage by grabbing and forcefully kissing the Spanish ahead Jennifer Hermoso on the lips in the course of the Girls’s World Cup medals ceremony, Spain’s soccer federation chief issued one thing of an apology.

“I’ve to apologize,” the official, Luis Rubiales, stated in a video broadcast by the federation on Monday afternoon. “Most likely I made a mistake.”

The kiss was delivered in Sydney, Australia, only some toes from the place the Spanish queen, Letizia, was standing onstage as she congratulated the ladies’s group for beating England, 1-0, to seize its first World Cup trophy on Sunday.

Video footage exhibits Mr. Rubiales enveloping Ms. Hermoso in his arms, grabbing her face between his arms and planting a kiss full on her mouth.

Spaniards reacted with confusion and disgust on social media. Many noticed it as proof of a callous disregard for Ms. Hermoso and, extra broadly, lingering sexism in soccer.

The episode is the most recent in a string of incidents which have plagued the ladies’s nationwide group in current months. Final yr, 15 star gamers walked out in protest, accusing the coach, Jorge Vilda, of outdated coaching strategies and controlling conduct.

However the soccer federation backed Mr. Vilda, and solely three of the insurgent gamers have been readmitted to the group.

At first, Mr. Rubiales responded to the most recent controversy with flippancy, dismissing his critics as “losers” in a late-night interview with the Cadena Cope radio station earlier than boarding a flight again to Spain from Australia.

“We shouldn’t take note of idiots and silly folks,” he stated then, claiming that the kiss had been only a “peck between two buddies celebrating one thing.”

However by the point his long-haul flight landed in Spain on Monday morning, condemnation of his conduct was widespread in Spain.

Including his voice to the refrain of complaints, the minister of tradition and sport, Miquel Iceta, known as for an evidence from the soccer chief, mentioning that it was unacceptable to congratulate soccer gamers by kissing them on the lips.

Different distinguished politicians demanded Mr. Rubiales’s resignation. The minister of equality, Irene Montero, accused Mr. Rubiales on X, the social media platform previously referred to as Twitter, of sexual violence.

Mr. Rubiales then modified his tune. “There was no dangerous intention by both social gathering,” he stated on Monday. “We noticed it as pure,” he added, apparently referring to Ms. Hermoso. “Nevertheless it has precipitated a commotion and individuals are offended, so I have to apologize.”

Makes an attempt to succeed in Mr. Rubiales by telephone and e mail weren’t profitable on Sunday and Monday.

As for Ms. Hermoso, she appeared to have been taken unexpectedly by the kiss on Sunday, and expressed her distaste in a post-match video, saying, “Hey, however I didn’t like that!”

Later, she appeared to downplay the episode. “It was a very spontaneous mutual gesture,” she stated, “due to the large pleasure of successful a World Cup.”



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