Spanish FA hits out at 'bulls***' after controversial World Cup kiss

Spanish FA president, who kissed a player on the mouth at World Cup final trophy lift, slams ‘idiots’ who spread ‘bulls***’ about his ‘friendly’ kiss… even though she said she ‘didn’t like it’

  • Luis Rubiales cuts a divisive figure for his staunch support of head coach Vilda 
  • The president of the RFEF was also seen in the stands making obscene gesture 
  • WATCH: ‘It’s All Kicking Off’ – Episode 1 – Mail Sport’s brand new football show 

The president of the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) Luis Rubiales has defended kissing World Cup winner Jenni Hermoso on the mouth before Spain were presented with the trophy on Sunday as ‘an insignicant show of affection’ and called his critics ‘idiots’. 

Rubiales was part of a receiving line of dignitaries, including Spain’s Queen Letizia and FIFA president Gianni Infantino, that the Spanish side were congratulated by before receiving their medals after beating England 1-0 at Stadium Australia. 

Players had their hands shaken, their cheeks double-kissed, and were hugged before captain Olga Carmona hoisted the trophy aloft, but many on social media argued that Rubiales’ behaviour took the celebrations too far. 

The RFEF president swept Hermoso into a long hug before gripping the sides of her face and giving her a kiss on the mouth. 

After receiving widespread criticism for his actions at the final, Rubiales was defiant in his defence of the kiss. 

Luis Rubiales attracted criticism for kissing Jenni Hermoso on the mouth  as Spain celebrated winning the World Cup

The player later shared a statement with the Spanish federation urging focus back onto victory

On Instagram live, the No 10 said that she ‘did not like’ the kiss as she partied with team-mates

‘The kiss with Jenni?’ Rubiales said when questioned on Radio Marca. ‘There are idiots everywhere. 

‘When two people have an insignificant show of affection, we cannot pay attention to idiocy. We are champions, and with that, I stay’. 

The president was more full-throated with his defensive in conversation with Spanish programme El Partidazo, saying that he would ‘not pay attention to the idiots, and the stupid, really.’

It’s a peak of two friends celebrating something,’ he continued. ‘We’re not here for bulls***. Me, with everything I’ve been through, more bulls*** and more a**holes, no.

‘Let’s ignore it and enjoy the good stuff and don’t even tell me things about losers who can’t see (the positive). 

‘It is a thing without evil. If there are fools, let them continue with their nonsense. There are more fools than windows. Let’s pay attention to those who are not fools. 

‘It is something without evil and nonsense.’

Rubiales finished his argument by implying that people were ‘wasting time’ discussing the incident. 

For her part, Hermoso was uncomfortable with the interaction, sharing in interviews during Spain’s raucous dressing room celebrations that she ‘did not like it’. 

‘It was an emotion of the moment, there is nothing beyond it,’ Hermoso added in conversation with El Tiempo de Juego. ‘It will remain an anecdote. I’m sure that it won’t go any further’. 

In a statement released via the RFEF, Hermoso urged focus back onto Spain’s historic achievement, later sharing: ‘(The kiss from Rubiales was) a totally spontaneous mutual gesture due to the immense joy of winning a World Cup. 

Rubiales was part of a receiving line congratulating his players before the trophy presentation

The president has cut a divisive figure for his consistent support of head coach Jorge Vilda

The Spanish manager oversees a turbulent dressing room, with players going on strike as recently as September 2022

‘The president and I have a great relationship, his behavior with all of us has been ten and it was a natural gesture of affection and gratitude.

‘A gesture of friendship and gratitude cannot be given more thought, we have won a World Cup and we are not going to deviate from what is important.’

Rubiales is a divisive figure in women’s football in Spain, in no small part for his long-term and vocal support of the La Roja head coach, Jorge Vilda. 

Vilda’s continued involvement in the Spanish set-up saw 15 players withdraw from the squad last September in protest of his role in the team. 

12 of the players later made themselves available with only three, including player of the tournament Aitana Bonmati, receiving the nod from Spain’s head coach for the competition, but it was telling that in the wake of the triumph in Sydney, Vilda was at times a peripheral figure in team celebrations. 

Rubiales has been a staunch advocate of his coach, and ahead of the final, praised Vilda as a ‘hard-working man’ who had survived attempts to ‘destroy him’. 

‘What we have endured is a lot,’ Rubiales told reporters last week. ‘Questions have been asked of Jorge Vilda, who is a hard-working man, a world-class coach, who has turned down other federations that have offered more money and stayed with Spain.

‘We have stuck with those that have always wanted to be here, that have valued the great work that he has done to grow, and we have forgotten the people with resentments. He has continued working and not paid attention to those who wanted to destroy him.’

Players alleged that Vilda’s controlling coaching environment had a negative impact on their ‘health’ and ’emotional state’, and some of the stars who chose not to involved in their country’s campaign in Australia and New Zealand include Barcelona’s Mapi Leon and Patricia Guijjarro. 

Barcelona’s Mapi Leon (left) is one of the Spain stars who is still not available for team selection

Rubiales also received criticism as he appeared to make an obsence gesture in the stands 

RFEF’s X (formerly Twitter) account appeared to hit out at lingering concerns over the coach’s position in the wake of the World Cup win, posting a picture of the 42-year-old kissing the trophy with the comment ‘Vilda in’ in all-capitals. 

At the final whistle, Rubiales’ behaviour in the stands raised eyebrows on social media, when a clip of the president appearing to grab his crotch in celebration circulated. 

Rubiales is seen standing next to the Spanish Infanta Sofia punching the air and leaping in celebration before making the obscene gesture. 

FIFA has been contacted for comment. 

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