Spanish Football Association (FA) President, Luis Rubiales, has issued a formal apology for his inappropriate gesture towards Jennifer Hermoso during the trophy celebrations of the World Cup final. Rubiales embraced and kissed the forward on the lips while she was collecting her medal on the podium following Spain’s 1-0 victory over England.
In a statement released on Monday, Rubiales acknowledged his mistake and expressed regret for his actions. He admitted that the gesture was without bad intention and was a result of the overwhelming excitement of the moment. However, he recognized the negative impact it had outside of the immediate context and took full responsibility for his behavior.
“I was completely wrong, and I have to admit it. It was a moment of great excitement, and we perceived it as a natural expression of joy. However, I now understand that it was inappropriate, and I sincerely apologize. As the president, I should have exercised greater caution,” Rubiales stated.
Following the incident, Jennifer Hermoso, Spain’s all-time leading goal scorer, addressed the matter during an Instagram live video after the trophy ceremony. She expressed her discomfort, stating, “I did not enjoy it.” However, in subsequent comments given to AFP by the Spanish federation, Hermoso clarified that the gesture was a spontaneous display of mutual affection and gratitude, emphasizing her positive relationship with Rubiales.
The Spanish FA has been contacted for further comment regarding the incident.
It is crucial to recognize the significance of consent and personal boundaries, particularly in professional settings. While Rubiales may have intended the gesture as a gesture of celebration and appreciation, it is essential to respect individuals’ personal space and ensure that actions do not cross any boundaries.
In light of this incident, it is imperative for all leaders and public figures, including sports administrators, to be mindful of their behavior and the impact it can have on others. This serves as a reminder that positions of authority come with a responsibility to act with integrity and respect.
Moving forward, it is hoped that this incident will serve as a learning opportunity for Rubiales and other sports officials, highlighting the need for greater awareness and sensitivity. By fostering an environment of respect and professionalism, we can ensure that such incidents are avoided in the future.
Overall, it is important to address this issue promptly and transparently, emphasizing the importance of maintaining respectful boundaries in all professional interactions. The focus should now shift towards celebrating the achievements of the Spanish national team in their World Cup triumph and promoting a positive and inclusive football culture.