Women’s World Cup final kiss that spun the sports world; President Rubiales' kissing of Jennifer Hermoso during medal ceremony

Posted : 21 August 2023

During the medal ceremony for the newly crowned world champions, a controversial incident has ignited a heated debate in Spain. The president of the Spanish federation, Luis Rubiales, kissed team star Jennifer Hermoso on the mouth during the ceremony, sparking a significant uproar. This unexpected gesture has been met with criticism, leading to discussions about the appropriateness of such actions in the modern era.
Amidst the celebratory atmosphere following Spain's historic victory at the World Cup, the incident involving Rubiales and Hermoso has not been ignored by the media. The video footage shows Rubiales embracing each member of the national team, yet his interaction with Hermoso was perceived as unusually intimate. This encounter drew widespread attention, and Hermoso later revealed during a live Instagram session from the locker room that she did not appreciate the kiss.
The Spanish media has taken a strong stance on the incident. Nadia Tronchoni, editor-in-chief of El País, criticized the president's behavior, stating that the incident marred what should have been a joyous occasion. The incident also sparked international reaction, with figures like Netherlands national team coach Anders Juncker and Australian human rights activist Craig Foster condemning the action as inappropriate and unacceptable.
Rubiales' subsequent actions did not go unnoticed either. He continued to engage with the team, making remarks about marrying Hermoso and promising a trip to Ibiza. The president defended the gesture, asserting that it was a simple display of mild affection between individuals. However, the incident has raised concerns about gender dynamics and respect within sports.
The Spanish Football Association released a statement attributed to Hermoso, asserting that the kiss was a spontaneous and mutual gesture driven by the joy of their victory. However, questions arose regarding the authenticity of this statement since it wasn't shared directly through Hermoso's social media accounts.
This controversy has further highlighted ongoing challenges within women's sports. While the kiss did not dampen the team's celebration, it has brought to the forefront the issue of consent and respect for personal boundaries. Critics argue that even in moments of celebration, individuals should be conscious of the impact of their actions, especially considering the progress that still needs to be made in gender equality.


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