(CTN News) – In the aftermath of Spain’s thrilling 1-0 victory over England in the Women’s World Cup final, a moment of celebration turned into a source of controversy when Luis Rubiales, the President of the Spanish Football Federation, kissed forward Jenni Hermoso on the lips during the official post-match ceremony. The incident, captured on camera, has ignited a passionate debate across social media platforms and within the wider public sphere.
Jenni Hermoso, the recipient of the kiss, initially expressed her discomfort with the gesture in a live stream, stating that she “didn’t like it.” However, her subsequent comments provided a different perspective.
Hermoso emphasized that the kiss was a “totally spontaneous mutual gesture” born out of the immense joy of winning a Women’s World Cup. She underscored her positive relationship with President Luis Rubiales, characterizing the kiss as a “natural gesture of affection and gratitude.”
President Rubiales, for his part, dismissed the criticism, asserting that the kiss was a celebratory act between friends. He labeled those who interpreted the incident differently as “idiots and stupid people,” urging everyone to focus on the positive aspects of the victory celebration.
Notably, the public reaction to the kiss has been polarized. Irene Montero, the minister of equality, labeled the act as a “form of sexual violence” highlighting a larger issue of gender dynamics and consent. Similarly, media figures such as Nadia Tronchoni from El País characterized the kiss as an “intrusion” and “aggression” that violates personal boundaries.
Political figures have also weighed in on the controversy. Socialist politician Adrián Barbón deemed the kiss a display of “absolute lack of respect and an abuse,” arguing that the context of celebration does not excuse such behavior. Marta Lois, representing the leftwing coalition Sumar, joined the chorus of voices calling for President Rubiales’ resignation.
The incident has also prompted discussions around potential double standards. Critics pointed out that President Luis Rubiales’ interactions with male players in previous celebrations did not involve similar intimate gestures.
Video evidence showcases Luis Rubiales engaging in cheek kisses and embraces with male players, fueling the debate over cultural norms and respect in celebratory contexts.
The controversy surrounding the kiss has added another layer of complexity to an already eventful Women’s World Cup celebration. It’s a reminder of the intersection between sports, culture, and gender dynamics, highlighting the need for continuous dialogue on respectful behavior within the realm of sports celebrations.
As Spain reflects on their victory, the discourse surrounding the president’s affectionate gesture underscores the broader societal discussions taking place in the wake of high-profile events.