Spanish footballer Jenni Hermoso speaks out after being kissed on lips by boss at World Cup
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Featured Image Credit: BBC/Joe Prior/Visionhaus/Getty Images
World Cup winner Jenni Hermoso has spoken out after the male president of the Spanish football federation kissed her on the lips following the country's win.
Following the match, Hermoso made her way to the podium to receive her medal from FIFA president Gianni Infantino, and after she was adorned with the prize Rubiales hugged her and lifted her off her feet.
The pair were seen chatting, then the football boss put his arms around Hermoso and kissed her on the lips.
According to Fox Sports, footage from Spain's locker room also later showed Rubiales telling the players they would celebrate their win with an all-expenses paid trip to Ibiza, and adding, 'and there, we’ll celebrate my wedding with Jenni!'.
The kiss sparked outrage online and prompted questions from reporters speaking with Hermoso after Spain's win.
In one Instagram live stream, Hermoso laughed about the incident but commented: “I didn’t like it."
When questioned by Spanish TV network La 1, she said: “Eh... yeah, I did not enjoy that."
Criticising the kiss online, Alberto Ortega, of the Spanish newspaper El Confidencial, wrote: “Rubiales taking the trophy from the players to give it to Queen Leticia and kissing Jennifer Hermoso on the mouth is simply disgusting.”
He added: “A new demonstration of the need to suck the camera [be the centre of attention] and be the protagonist when it is not his turn."
When asked about the incident during an interview with Radio MARCO, Rubiales appeared to brush off the encounter with the footballer.
Me dicen que este video del presidente de la federación espaÑola de fútbol, Luís Rubiales, no hay que hacerlo rular, y lo están censurando— VIQUI ||☆|| (@viquirepublica) August 20, 2023
¿Asqueroso? Es poco pic.twitter.com/A5548h6Eyj
"The kiss with Jenni? There are idiots everywhere. When two people have a minor show of affection, we can't listen to idiocy," he said. "We are champions and that's what I'll take."
Though Hermoso initially made clear she didn't 'enjoy' the kiss, she later defended the boss and said the kiss was a 'natural gesture of affection'.
“It was a totally spontaneous mutual gesture because of the immense joy that winning a World Cup brings,” she said in comments given to AFP by the Spanish federation.
“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.”