Spanish football federation chief Luis Rubiales’ apology for kissing star player Jenni Hermoso on the lips after Spain won the Women’s World Cup is “insufficient,” Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said Tuesday.
Rubiales, 45, kissed Hermoso as he handed the Spanish team gold medals after they beat England 1-0 in the final on Sunday in Sydney, provoking outrage in Spain. He kissed other players on the cheek or embraced them.
“What we saw was an unacceptable gesture,” Sanchez told a news conference when asked about the controversy over the unsolicited kiss.
As the controversy over the kiss grew, Rubiales apologised on Monday in a video posted on social media. “It was done without any ill intention in a moment of the highest exuberance. Here we saw it as natural and normal but outside it has caused a commotion.
I also think the apologies given by Mr. Rubiales are insufficient. And I even think that they are inappropriate, and that he must go further,” added Sanchez, whose government has pushed through tougher laws on sexual consent and harassment.
“I have no choice but to apologise and to learn from this… and when representing the federation take more care,” he said, adding that he thought the furore was “idiotic”.
Rubiales also stressed that he had a “magnificent relationship” with Hermoso.