Spanish World Cup Celebration Marred by Unwanted Kiss Controversy
  • Spanish Football Federation president Luis Rubiales faces backlash for an unsolicited kiss on player Jenni Hermoso.
  • Hermoso and the entire World Cup-winning squad threaten not to play under the current leadership.
  • FIFA provisionally suspended Rubiales for 90 days amid the controversy.
  • Multiple resignations from the national women’s team coaching staff, excluding head coach Jorge Vilda.
  • Major football figures, including Andrés Iniesta and Xavi Hernandez, condemn Rubiales’ actions.
  • Spanish football federation defends Rubiales and considers legal actions against Hermoso.

Fresh from their World Cup win, the Spanish women’s national football team has been embroiled in a major controversy involving Spanish football federation president Luis Rubiales.

Rubiales is under fire for an unsolicited kiss he planted on star player Jenni Hermoso during the World Cup medal ceremony. The fallout from the incident has grown exponentially, with FIFA provisionally suspending Rubiales and the entire Women’s World Cup-winning squad threatening not to play under the current leadership.

In various statements, Jenni Hermoso expressed her discomfort with the incident, calling herself “vulnerable” and labelling it as an act of “aggression”. While she acknowledged a positive relationship with Rubiales, she firmly stated she did not consent to the kiss.

In his defence, Rubiales argued that the act was consensual and in the spirit of celebration. Despite growing calls for his resignation, Rubiales declared his intention to remain in his position, accusing his critics of conducting a “witch hunt.”

The controversy has received widespread attention with several football figures, both domestic and international, siding with Hermoso. Prominent names such as Andrés Iniesta and Xavi Hernandez have publicly condemned Rubiales’ actions, stating that they tarnished the sport and Spain’s image on the global stage.

The national coaching staff of Spain’s women’s team has seen a mass resignation in protest, leaving only head coach Jorge Vilda, who also criticized Rubiales but did not resign. FIFA has reacted by suspending Rubiales for 90 days, pending further investigation.

Spain’s Secretary of State for Sport, Victor Francos, supported FIFA’s decision. However, the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) has backed Rubiales, even hinting at potential legal action against Hermoso.

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