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POLITICO: The victory of the Spanish women's football team ended in a sex scandal

22-8-2023 |

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez on Tuesday slammed football federation chief Luis Rubiales for kissing a Spanish player on the lips after winning the Women’s World Cup on Sunday.

Sanchez said that Rubiales’ actions — during which he gripped Jenni Hermoso’s head in his hands and planted a kiss on her lips during the medal ceremony — were “unacceptable” and that his apologies did not go far enough.

Frame: BBC

“I think that what we saw was an unacceptable gesture,” Sánchez said at a press conference after meeting the Spanish king. “I also believe that the apologies that Mr. Rubiales has given are not enough, I even believe that they are not adequate and that therefore he has to continue taking steps.”

During the post-match locker room celebrations after Spain won the World Cup against England, Hermoso said on an Instagram Live video. “But what can I do? I didn’t like it, eh,” about the kiss.

In the aftermath, Rubiales was widely criticized by Spanish politicians. Equality Minister Irene Montero said the kiss was a display of “sexual violence.” Spain’s minister of culture and sport, Miquel Iceta, added that it was “unacceptable.”

Rubiales — who kissed and vigorously hugged multiple Spanish players during the medal ceremony — also ended up under the microscope for what appeared to be a crotch-grabbing celebration in the stands during the game.

During boisterous post-match celebrations Rubiales — after promising the champion team a holiday to Ibiza — also said that he would marry Hermoso there.

On Monday afternoon, Rubiales tried to quell the storm, saying he had “no choice but to apologize” for his “mistake”, but these casual apologies only added fuel to the fire.