February 29, 2024

The kiss was stunning given the game’s long-standing allegations of sexual misconduct by male soccer presidents and coaches towards feminine gamers on nationwide groups

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The chief of Spain’s soccer federation left a bitter style on the nation’s Ladies’s World Cup victory after kissing a participant on the lips in the course of the medal ceremony, drawing criticism for inappropriate conduct in a sport that has struggled to beat sexism.

The Spanish authorities and the world gamers’ union condemned the conduct of Luis Rubiales on Monday, a day after Spain’s 1-0 win over England. The soccer federation led by Rubiales sought to downplay the incident by way of a press release it attributed to the participant he kissed.

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Instantly after Spain’s victory, Rubiales grabbed his crotch in a victory gesture — seemingly oblivious to 16-year-old Princess Infanta Sofia standing close by. He later kissed participant Jenni Hermoso on the lips in the course of the medal and trophy ceremony on the sector, drawing undesirable consideration away from the celebration and marring the nation’s greatest day for girls’s soccer.

The kiss was stunning given the game’s long-standing allegations of sexual misconduct by male soccer presidents and coaches towards feminine gamers on nationwide groups. Two of the 32 World Cup groups, Haiti and Zambia, needed to take care of the problem whereas qualifying for the event co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand.

Spain’s appearing minister for sports activities and tradition Miquel Iceta instructed public broadcaster RNE “it’s unacceptable to kiss a participant on the lips to congratulate her.” The world gamers’ union referred to as the kiss “deeply lamentable.”

On Sunday, Spain’s authorities equality minister had a fair stronger response.

“It’s a type of sexual violence that girls endure every day, and which has been invisible up to now, and which we must always not normalize,” Irene Montero mentioned wrote Sunday on X, the social media platform previously generally known as Twitter.

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The Spanish soccer federation launched a press release late Sunday, attributed to Hermoso, to attempt to settle the controversy.

“It was a very spontaneous mutual gesture as a result of immense pleasure of successful a World Cup,” Hermoso mentioned within the federation’s assertion. “The president and I’ve an amazing relationship, his conduct with all of us has been wonderful and it was a pure gesture of affection and gratitude.”

Rubiales, 45, led the world gamers’ union’s Spanish affiliate for eight years earlier than being elected to guide the nationwide soccer federation in 2018. The Spanish squad was in near-mutiny final yr due to some gamers’ complaints concerning the tradition beneath coach Jorge Vilda.

After the sport, when Hermoso handed alongside the road of soccer dignitaries to gather her medal, Rubiales put his palms to her head and kissed her on the lips. He additionally hugged a number of different gamers and put his arm round Queen Letizia of Spain.

In an Instagram video within the dressing room after the incident, the gamers screamed and laughed whereas watching the kiss being replayed on a cellphone.

Hermoso will be seen laughing and shouting, “However I didn’t prefer it!” Requested by different gamers what she was doing, she shouted, “Have a look at me, have a look at me,” intimating she couldn’t do a lot about it.

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FIFPRO, the Netherlands-based gamers’ union, took a harsh view of Rubiales’ actions.

“It’s deeply lamentable that such a particular second for the gamers of the Spain nationwide staff that was happening earlier than a world tv viewers needs to be stained by the inappropriate conduct of a person in a job carrying a lot accountability,” the union mentioned in a press release.

“Uninitiated and uninvited bodily gestures in the direction of gamers are usually not applicable or acceptable in any context.

That is very true when gamers are put ready of vulnerability as a result of a bodily strategy or gesture is initiated by an individual who holds energy over them.”

Rubiales is also a UEFA vp and was the European soccer physique’s most senior elected consultant on the last in Australia.

Video clips filmed after the ultimate whistle of Sunday’s match present Rubiales celebrating the victory within the entrance row of an unique part close to the queen of Spain and FIFA president Gianni Infantino. Rubiales jumped with each arms within the air, pointing with each index fingers towards the sector, then briefly grabbed his crotch together with his proper hand.

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The previous participant has a key function in wooing soccer officers over the subsequent yr whereas attempting to safe internet hosting rights for the lads’s World Cup in 2030. Spain leads a joint bid with Portugal, Morocco and, presently, Ukraine for the 48-team event and is favored to win subsequent yr’s determination.

UEFA and FIFA didn’t instantly reply Monday to requests for remark about Rubiales’s conduct.

— Dunbar reported from Geneva. Related Press reporter Ciaran Giles contributed to this report.

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