Spanish Minister Denounces President’s Post-World Cup Kiss

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Spanish Minister Denounces President's Post-World Cup Kiss
Minister Criticizes President’s Kiss Amid World Cup Triumph

Spain’s Minister of Sports, Miquel Iceta, has expressed strong disapproval of the kiss shared between the president of the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF), Luis Rubiales, and star player Jenni Hermoso, following Spain’s triumphant victory in the Women’s World Cup. The incident has sparked a heated global debate about professionalism and respect within the realm of sports.

In an interview with Spanish public radio, Minister Iceta asserted, “I think it is unacceptable to kiss a player on the lips to congratulate her.” He further emphasized that the appropriate course of action for Rubiales is to provide a comprehensive explanation and offer an apology. “It is the logical and reasonable thing to do,” Minister Iceta stated.

Minister Iceta went on to underscore the significance of public officials’ conduct, particularly in such high-profile moments. He pointed out that while the exhilarating 1-0 victory against England in Sydney was undoubtedly a moment filled with intense emotions, public figures must exercise extreme caution. “We are giving a message to society, and the message is about equal rights and respect,” he emphasized.

The controversial incident occurred when 45-year-old Rubiales planted a kiss on Jenni Hermoso’s lips as she received her medal. The gesture triggered an immediate and widespread reaction, drawing attention to questions of professionalism and appropriateness in celebratory contexts.

Sources within the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) responded to the growing scrutiny by describing the kiss as a “spontaneous celebration.” According to the RFEF, the close friendship between Rubiales and Hermoso was the underlying context for the action. This claim was supported by a video Hermoso shared on Instagram, showing celebratory scenes in the team’s changing room. In the video, she responded to playful teasing from teammates, laughing and saying, “I didn’t like it, eh!”

In response, the RFEF released statements attributed to Hermoso, wherein she defended the president’s actions. “It was a totally spontaneous mutual gesture because of the immense joy that winning a World Cup brings,” Hermoso stated. She further emphasized the strong rapport between her and Rubiales, describing his behavior toward the team as “outstanding.” Hermoso regarded the kiss as a “natural gesture of affection and gratitude” that should not overshadow the team’s significant achievement.

This incident comes in the backdrop of Spain’s tumultuous preparations for the World Cup, which were disrupted last September when 15 players communicated their unwillingness to be considered for selection. The protest, primarily directed at coach Jorge Vilda and his coaching methods, including perceived strictness, raised questions about team dynamics and management.

As the debate surrounding the president’s actions continues to gain momentum, it serves as a reminder of the complex interplay between personal relationships, professionalism, and the broader message sports convey to society. The incident has opened up discussions about appropriate behavior and the expectations placed on sports officials to uphold values of equality and respect.

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