The Spanish Soccer Boss Who Kissed Jenni Hermoso Has Finally Admitted That Was Kinda Fucked Up

Spain midfielder Jenni Hermoso, 33, was making her way to the podium to accept her medal when 45-year-old soccer boss Luis Rubiales pulled her toward him and kissed her. FIFA Women's World Cup

Luis Rubiales, the president of the Royal Spanish Football Federation who grabbed a female player and kissed her on the mouth after Spain’s 1-0 FIFA Women’s World Cup victory against England, has finally apologised for his actions. Initially, he actually minimised what he did and called his critics “idiots”.

“Surely I was wrong, I have to admit,” Rubiales said in a video statement sent by the federation.

However, he insisted he didn’t mean anything by the kiss and that it was just a result of excitement.

“It was without bad faith at a time of maximum effusiveness.”

In case you missed what all this is about, Spain midfielder Jenni Hermoso, 33, was making her way to the podium to accept her medal when Rubiales, who is 45, grabbed her head after a hug and kissed her.

In an interview later, Hermoso was asked about the kiss, to which she said: “Yeah, I did not enjoy that.”

Pictures and videos of the kiss have circulated online and left football fans outraged, with many accusing Rubiales of taking advantage of the power imbalance between himself and the player.

“What Rubiales did today is an abuse of power, and it is unacceptable,” one Twitter user wrote.

“Let’s call it what it is: this is sexual assault on live television at the world’s biggest competition for women,” wrote another.

“If FIFA doesn’t do anything about this, we are doomed.”

Former Australian soccer player Craig Foster labelled the kiss “horrific” and called for Rubiales to be fired.

Another tweet, translated from Spanish, called for Rubiales to resign and for an investigation to be launched into his conduct.

Spanish TV presenter Claudya Carolina, translated from Spanish, called Rubiales’ behaviour “excessive” and “unpresentable”.

After the backlash, Hermoso defended Rubiales and downplayed the incident in comments provided to the AFP (Agence France-Presse, a French news agency) by the Spanish football federation.

“It was a totally spontaneous mutual gesture because of the immense joy that winning a World Cup brings,” said Hermoso in the comments, per Fox Sports.

“The president and I have a great relationship, his behaviour with all of us has been outstanding and it was a natural gesture of affection and gratitude.

“A gesture of friendship and gratitude cannot be gone over so much, we have won a World Cup and we are not going to deviate from what is important.”

After the outrage rippled across the nation, Hermoso said she wished “they created (controversy) involving someone else, I’m a world champion and that’s what matters.”

Rubiales slammed the backlash to the kiss as “idiocy” in a radio interview after the immediate aftermath, and before his apology.

“The kiss with Jenni? Idiots are everywhere,” he told Radio MARCA in response to the criticism, per Fox Sports.

“When two people have an unimportant gesture of affection, we can’t listen to idiocy”.

I’m glad he’s since admitted wrongdoing, though the incident is just the latest in a series of inappropriate and sexist behaviour from men in women’s sports.

Just earlier this month, a British commentator came under fire after he tried to flirt with an Aussie cricketer during an interview where she was discussing the importance of team bonding. After she told him she watched Barbie with her team, he said: “You’re a little Barbie yourself innit with your blue eyes.”

Brb, vomiting.

Channel 7 commentator David Basheer was also slammed a few weeks ago for marvelling that Matildas player Katrina Gorry was still competent and skilled despite becoming a mother. Shocking.

“Certainly motherhood has not blunted her competitive instincts, that’s for sure,” he said.

We’ve come a long way in the way we treat women in sports, but clearly there is still a lot more work to do.