Spanish FA chief Luis Rubiales kissed Jenni Hermoso after she was presented with her World Cup winners medal following Spain’s 1-0 victory over England

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Reaction to Spain’s goal in the World Cup final

Acting Spanish prime minister Pedro Sanchez condemned the “unacceptable” behaviour of Luis Rubiales following the Women’s World Cup final, adding that the Spanish football president’s apologies “have not been enough”.

Rubiales kissed Jenni Hermoso on the lips during the trophy presentation ceremony at Stadium Australia after Spain’s 1-0 victory over England.

The Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) president was also caught on video making an obscene gesture during celebrations at full-time, while a further video was circulated on social media of the president telling the Spanish dressing room that he would “marry” Hermoso in Ibiza.

Rubiales initially dismissed the widespread outrage ignited by his kiss of Hermoso–who later declared she “did not enjoy” the episode– as “idiocy”.

However, after further criticism and censure from notable sporting and cultural figures, including Spain’s equalities minister Irene Montero and sports minister Miquel Iceta, Rubiales spectacularly recanted his previous bullish remarks and apologised for his actions.

“Here (in the stadium) it was something natural, normal – so we did not understand the commotion,” Rubiales said in a statement on Monday. “There was no bad faith. Elsewhere, it seems that an uproar has occurred, of course, if there are people who have felt damaged by this I have to apologise.

“There is no other choice other than learning from this and understanding that when you are president of an institution as important as the Spanish Federation you have to be more careful in procedure and these type of issues.”

Luis Rubiales initially downplayed the incident (



Pedro Sanchez hit out at the behaviour of the Spanish FA chief Pedro Sanchez hit out at the behaviour of the Spanish FA chief (


AFP via Getty Images)

Yet the words have seemingly done little to assuage the odium, and prime minister Sanchez has discounted Rubiales’ apology as adequate retribution for his actions.

“What we saw was an unacceptable gesture,” Sanchez said at a press conference. “Apologies have not been enough. They are not suitable. Mr. Rubiales has to keep taking steps.

“Some of Rubiales’ behaviour shows that in our country there is still a long way to go in terms of equality and respect and equal rights for women and men.”

Deputy Prime Minister Yolanda Diaz had previously called for Rubiales’ removal from his post, saying: “We continue to request the resignation of Rubiales, who has dehumanised and assaulted a woman. His excuses are useless at all.”

When pressed on whether the government would intervene in Rubiales’ employment, Sanchez said: “The RFEF does not belong to the structure or organisation chart of the Government of Spain.

“The president on duty is elected and dismissed by his associates.”

It is also being reported that Rubiales unsuccessfully beseeched Hermoso to join him in a video statement, to be filmed at Doha airport, that would defend the kissing incident.

The fallout arrives as the RFEF is already entrenched in controversy surrounding its alleged maltreatment of its female players by head coach Jorge Vilda.

Shortly after last summer’s European championships, 15 prominent senior players led a revolt against the established leadership regime, which had allegedly forced players to keep from locking their hotel rooms up until 2019.

The “mutinous 15” were told by the federation to desist their protests or defer altogether from national team duties, with president Rubiales serving as one of Vilda’s most vocal proponents.