Celebrity Scandals

Spanish Soccer Federation Chief Draws Criticism for Kissing Player on Lips

Main image to the post Spanish Soccer Federation Chief Draws Criticism for Kissing Player on Lips

The aftermath of Spain’s Women’s World Cup victory against England was marred by controversy when Luis Rubiales, the head of the Spanish soccer federation, kissed player Jenni Hermoso on the lips during the medal ceremony. This action was met with disapproval from the Spanish government, world players’ union, and the public, who deemed it inappropriate conduct, especially considering the sport's history of sexism and sexual misconduct allegations involving male soccer officials and female players.

Rubiales faced widespread criticism for his gesture, with the Spanish government emphasizing the seriousness of the issue, calling it a form of sexual violence that should not be normalized. Despite attempts to downplay the incident through a statement attributed to Hermoso claiming it was a spontaneous gesture of joy, Rubiales later issued an apology in a video, acknowledging his mistake in a moment of heightened emotions. The situation highlighted the ongoing struggle for gender equality in soccer, especially in light of the #MeToo movement's impact on raising awareness about misconduct in sports and other industries.

FIFPRO, the players’ union, strongly condemned Rubiales' conduct, emphasizing that uninvited physical gestures towards players, particularly from individuals in positions of power, are unacceptable. The incident also raised concerns about the inappropriate behavior of soccer officials and the need for accountability in the world of sports, with calls for respect and professionalism in all interactions during such high-profile events. Rubiales's actions not only drew criticism domestically but also raised questions about his suitability for his roles with UEFA and FIFA, organizations that did not immediately respond to inquiries regarding the incident.

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May 21, 2023 | 05:09