Luis Rubiales, who is the President of the Spain Football Federation (RFEF), has apologised for kissing Jennifer Hermoso following Spain’s World Cup victory.
Spain beat England 1-0 to win the 2023 Women’s FIFA World Cup on Sunday but Rubiales kissing Hermoso on the podium was at the centre of the spotlight.
Rubiales was widely chastised for grabbing and kissing players on the lips, including Hermoso, on the podium during the trophy presentation event in Sydney on Sunday.
During an interview on Cadena Cope’s El Partidazo on Sunday evening, Rubiales responded to the outcry by labelling critics “losers” and “a*sholes.”
However, in a video issued to the media on Monday, the president adopted a more apologetic tone.
Rubiales said: “I have made a mistake. I have to recognize that, because in a moment of maximum euphoria, without any bad intentions, without any bad faith, what happened happened, very spontaneously, without any bad faith on either side.”
“From here, we saw it as something natural, normal, and not at all in bad faith. But outside, there seems to have been an uproar. Of course, if there are people who have been hurt by this, I have to apologise, there is no other way.
“I will learn from this and understand that when you are president of an institution as important as the Federation, especially in ceremonies and in this type of matters, you have to be more careful.”
Rubiales and the team have returned to Spain, where they will present the trophy to fans gathering near Madrid’s Royal Palace tonight. Olga Carmona, who lost her father before the final, has chosen to participate in these celebrations.