Luis Rubiales, the president of the Spanish FA, diverted attention from Spain’s Women’s World Cup win by kissing forward Jenni Hermoso on the lips during the official celebrations. Rubiales faces mounting criticism from journalists, fans, and politicians. Some critics have demanded that he resign, especially after Hermoso stated in a live stream that she ‘didn’t like it [the kiss]’. 

Luis Rubiakess is not married; he stated he would wed Jenni Hermoso in Ibiza

Luis Rubiales is not married and seems single. In an Instagram Live video by Salma Paralluelo, Rubiales, perhaps unaware that his celebratory kiss had angered football fans, declared the Spanish FA would pay for the team’s trip to Ibiza, where he would marry Jenni Hermoso. 

During an Instagram Live stream, Hermoso suggested she couldn’t do anything to prevent the kiss. “But what do I do? Look at me? Look at me?” Hermoso downplayed the incident via a statement released by the Spanish FA. The statement reads:

“It was a totally spontaneous mutual gesture because of the immense joy that winning a World Cup brings. The president and I have a great relationship, his behavior with all of us has been outstanding and it was a natural gesture of affection and gratitude.”

“It was the emotion of the moment,” Hermoso downplayed the kiss in an interview with Cadena COPE. “There’s nothing else there. It’s no big deal.” Rubiales and Hermoso are not dating; his declaration that he would marry Hermoso was probably made in jest. 

Responding to intensifying public outcry against the kiss, Rubiales released a video acknowledging his mistake. It was a more courteous reply compared to the one he offered on Spanish radio, in which he referred to the criticism as ‘nonsense’ and the critics as ‘fools’ and ‘idiots’. Rubiales said:

“I surely made a mistake, I need to recognise it, because in a moment of maximum effusiveness, with no bad intention, with no bad faith, what happened happened — I think in a very spontaneous way. I repeat: with no bad faith from either of the two parties. Of course, if there are people who felt hurt by this, I need to apologize — there’s no alternative.”

It’s the second time during his tenure as President that Rubiales has faced sexual misconduct allegations. Juan Rubiales, his uncle and former chief of staff, claimed that the Spanish FA president used the federation’s resources to host sex parties in Granada. The Spanish Football Federation dismissed Juan’s allegations, stating:

“Despite the seriousness of the alleged facts, Juan Rubiales has not provided a single piece of evidence either in the Prosecutor’s Office or in court to support his accusations. Neither on that date nor on any other was a single euro dedicated to issues that are not specific to the federative activity.”

“Let’s not assume that giving a kiss without consent is something ‘that happens.’ It is a form of sexual violence that women suffer on a daily basis and until now invisible, and that we cannot normalize. It is the task of the whole society. Consent in the center. Only yes is yes,” Spain’s equalities minister Irene Montero tweeted