Spanish FA boss under fire for kissing player filmed making obscene gesture

Footage has emerged of Luis Rubiales grabbing his genitals in celebration in the moments after Spain’s victory

Lawrence Ostlere
Monday 21 August 2023 13:38 BST
Spanish FA president appears to grab crotch during World Cup celebrations

Luis Rubiales, the Spanish FA president at the centre of a storm following the Women’s World Cup final, has been caught making an obscene gesture during celebrations at full-time.

Rubiales came under fire in the aftermath of Spain’s 1-0 win over England in Sydney for kissing Spanish player Jenni Hermoso on the lips on the presentation stage.

Asked about the moment, Hermoso intially said: “Eh... yeah, I did not enjoy that.” Later, via quotes put out by the Spanish FA, she described the kiss with the organisation’s president as “mutual and spontaneous”.

Now footage has emerged of Rubiales grabbing his genitals in celebration in the moments after Spain’s victory. Standing close to Queen Letizia of Spain and her 16-year-old daughter, video shows him punch the air and apparently point at the players before making the gesture.

Rubiales was later asked about the kissing incident, in which he grabbed Hermoso’s head. He told Radio Marca that it was merely “two people having a minor show of affection” and that he will not take notice of “idiocy,” referencing those outraged by his behaviour.

“The kiss with Jenni? There are idiots everywhere,” he said. “When two people have a minor show of affection, we can’t listen to idiocies. We are champions and that is what stays with me.”

Spain’s Equality Minister Irene Montero criticised his actions, saying: “We shouldn’t assume that kissing someone without their consent is something that just happens. It’s a form of sexual violence women suffer regularly, and invisibly, that we cannot normalise.”

The latest footage is likely to increase pressure on Rubiales, whose role in charge of the country’s game has also come under scrutiny for his handling of a players’ protest which saw several Spain stars boycott the World Cup.

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