Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) president Luis Rubiales has admitted that he “made a mistake” by planting an unwanted kiss on the lips of 33-year-old Spanish star Jennifer Hermoso after her team’s gold medal win. England on Sunday.
Rubiales faced widespread criticism for the incident, with politicians and journalists labeling his behavior “unacceptable” and “simply disgusting”.
“There is an event, I have to regret, everything that happened between the player and me, a wonderful relationship between the two of us, like the others,” the RFEF boss said in a video statement.
“Well, I certainly made a mistake, and I must admit it. In a moment’s happiness, without a thought of hopelessness, what happened—I think in a very arbitrary way. Again, there was no bad faith between either of us.
“Here, we don’t understand it, because we look at it with natural, normal and by no means bad faith. But outside the bubble, it seems like it turned into a storm, so, if there are offended people, I’m sorry.
Rubiales was on stage at FIFA’s awards ceremony following the final, along with key figures including Gianni Infantino, president of football’s world governing body, Queen Letizia of Spain and Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese.
The video shows Rubiales hugging Hermoso and placing both hands on her head before kissing her. Then he pats her on the back as she walks.
“Hey, I don’t like it,” says Hermoso, who candidly answers questions about the incident in an Instagram Live video — a clip of which Shared by Spanish journalist doubles on Vida X, a platform formerly known as Twitter.
Later in an Instagram Live video – taken in Spain’s locker room – Hermoso asks another woman a question: “But what were you doing, sister?” The 33-year-old replied: “But what am I supposed to do?”
Catena Cope, on the radio program ‘El Tiempo de Jugo’ in Hermoso Talked about kissing On Sunday, she said, “She didn’t expect it,” but added, “It was because of the emotion of the moment, nothing more. It’s just going to be a story. [of the time]. I’m sure it won’t explode any further.
Asked by Radio Marca about the incident with Hermoso, Rubiales replied: “A kiss with Jenny? There are idiots everywhere. When two people are affectionate for a moment without any significance, we cannot listen to nonsense. We’re champions, and I’ll stand by that.
In his apology, Rubiales admitted that he “should be more careful” when representing the RFEF as president at ceremonies and other important events.
He followed up on his “stupidity” comment, explaining that he saw it that way because “inside the bubble, nobody gives it the slightest importance, but outside they do, right?
“So I want to apologize to these people, because I understand that if it’s seen in a different light, of course they have their reasons,” he added.
Rubiales concluded by saying the incident had cast a shadow over the team’s success, describing it as one of the country’s greatest sporting victories.
“I think we have to give all the credit to these women, the team led by Jorge Vilda, and celebrate it in the sky as much as we can,” she said.
“I think it’s unacceptable to kiss a player on the lips to congratulate him. As far as I’ve seen… I think it should be said. We all deserve respect,” said Isetta. “I think, first of all, what he needs to do is give an explanation and show his justification . I think it’s a logical and rational thing to do.
After Spain’s win on Sunday, Alberto Ortega of Spanish newspaper El Confidential, Published in X “Rubiales taking the trophy from the players to give it to Queen Letizia and kissing Jennifer Hermoso on the mouth is despicable.”
“A new demonstration of the necessity of absorbing the camera [be the center of attention] And be the hero when it’s not his turn,” Ortega added.
Daily Mirror journalist Colin Miller, who writes about European football for the British newspaper, described Rubiales’ behavior as “not right”.
“It’s the highlight of a footballer’s life and they are very emotional,” he posted Miller Ann X.
Hermoso was not the only Spaniard kissed by Rubiales in the post-match celebrations.
After the other members of the Spanish team received their medals, the video shows Rubiales kissing them on the cheeks and holding some of them in his arms.
Another video clip shows Rubiales interrupting a group of Spanish players celebrating before kissing Olga Carmona on the cheek after scoring Spain’s winning goal in a 1-0 win over England.
In footage posted by Spanish star Salma Paralulo on Instagram Live, Rubiales was filmed entering the dressing room and telling the Spanish players that the RFEF would pay for them to travel to Ibiza, where she would marry Hermoso.
CNN also reached out to Hermoso’s agent and the RFEF’s press officer in Australia for comment on the incident, but did not hear back at the time of publication.
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