Socceroos great Craig Foster has called out the 'horrific' moment Spanish football federation president Luis Rubiales kissed Jenni Hermoso on the mouth after the Women's World Cup final. Hermoso helped Spain become the first country to win both the men's and women's World Cups after a 1-0 win over England on Sunday night.
However controversy has erupted in the aftermath of the match after Rubiales was spotted kissing Hermoso on the lips during the post-match presentation. Hermoso and Rubiales shared an emotional embrace on the podium as the Spanish players were receiving their medals, before Rubiales placed a kiss on Hermoso's lips.
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In an Instagram live video after the match, Hermoso said “I didn’t like it" when asked about the kiss, however she was laughing at the time. She later dismissed the incident as a “natural gesture of affection”, saying: “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 behaviour with all of us has been outstanding and it was a natural gesture of affection and gratitude...It cannot be gone over so much, we have won a World Cup and we are not going to deviate from what is important.”
— Olamide Not Baddo (@Iam_Olamide10) August 20, 2023
Rubiales later said: “The kiss with Jenni? Idiots are everywhere. When two people have an unimportant gesture of affection, we can’t listen to idiocy”. However Spanish TV presenter Claudya Carolina said Rubiales’ actions were “unpresentable” and “excessive”, and she wasn't alone.
Foster tweeted on Monday morning: "Women in sport are daily subject to an extreme power differential, objectification, harassment, sexual abuse and an absence of agency and power. This is horrific. He should be stood down immediately by FIFA and the Spanish FA."
A video from inside the Spanish locker room also captured Rubiales vowing to pay for an all-expense trip to Ibiza for the players. Rubialos also declared “and there, we’ll celebrate my wedding with Jenni!”.
Women in sport are daily subject to an extreme power differential, objectification, harassment, sexual abuse and an absence of agency and power.
This is horrific.
He should be stood down immediately by @FIFAcom and the Spanish FA.#FIFAWWC https://t.co/pN5KYHXPAX
— Craig Foster (@Craig_Foster) August 20, 2023
The behaviour of Spanish FA president Luis Rubiales here is not ok. This the highlight of a footballer's career and they are highly emotionally charged. Jenni Hermoso said on Spanish TV of his grab and lip kiss: "Eh...yeah, I did not enjoy that." https://t.co/u8WjAUj71a
— Colin Millar (@Millar_Colin) August 20, 2023
Luis Rubiales then enters the dressing room. He tells players that the FA will pay for a trip to Ibiza, and that is where he will marry Jenni Hermoso. The footage was posted on Salma Paralluelo's Instagram Live.https://t.co/UpJojODnh6
— Colin Millar (@Millar_Colin) August 20, 2023
The concerning fact here is the nonchalant manner Rubiales behaves towards Hermoso.
The FA president does this on the biggest stage of the sport with royalty and officials near him, surrounded by cameras.
Very disturbing, and frankly, concerning. pic.twitter.com/Hh89dfWX4S
— SHE scores bangers (@SHEscoresbanger) August 20, 2023
Lucy Bronze's brutal snub of FIFA president
It wasn't the only controversial moment during the post-match ceremony, with England defender Lucy Bronze appearing to snub FIFA president Gianni Infantino. Bronze accepted her silver medal from Infantino, but didn't shake his hand in what appeared to be a blatant snub.
Many viewers suggested Bronze's actions were sparked by controversial comments made by Infantino ahead of the final. The FIFA president picked a bizarre time to send a message to female players, saying: "Pick the right battles. Pick the right fights. You have the power to change. You have the power to convince us men what we have to do and what we don’t have to do. You do it. Just do it.
"With men, with FIFA, you will find open doors. Just push the doors. They are open. And do it also at national level, in every country, at continental level, in every confederation. Just keep pushing, keep the momentum, keep dreaming, and let’s really go for a full equality."
Spain's World Cup triumph amid player mutiny
Spain's victory comes amid a tumultuous time for their women's football team, after a player mutiny saw 15 players walk out on the national team in the wake of their qualification for the World Cup. Players cited concerns over under-investment and coach Jorge Vilda's allegedly authoritarian approach to management.
Only three players - Aitana Bonmati, Mariona Caldentey, and Ona Batlle - returned, while stars including Mapi Leon, Patri Guijarro, and Claudia Pina have continued their boycott. Vilda said he had no intentions of stepping down after Sunday night's final
"I said the other day if all of this was necessary to be world champions, that it's valid," he said. "At the sporting level I think it's been a great year.
"It's been difficult in a personal level management level but at the sporting level we've achieved results that we've never achieved before. The full support of the federation has been incredible."
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