Luis Rubiales, the former president of the Spanish football federation, has maintained his position that the kiss he planted on Jenni Hermoso’s lips after the Women’s World Cup final was a “mutual act” and “consented.” This statement comes as a response to allegations from World Cup-winning Spain midfielder Hermoso that the kiss was not consensual, leading to a sexual assault investigation by a Spanish judge.
Rubiales, who resigned from his post three weeks after the incident during the final medal ceremony following Spain’s victory in Sydney, continues to stand by his version of events, insisting that it was an emotional and spontaneous act. In an interview on the UK’s TalkTV show Piers Morgan Uncensored, he described the kiss as “non-sexual” and compared it to how he would act with his own daughters.
He explained, “My intentions were noble, enthusiastic, 100 percent non-sexual, 100 percent, I repeat, 100 percent.”
Rubiales acknowledged that he had asked for permission for the kiss, which he described as “a peck,” but conceded that, as the president of the federation, his actions were inappropriate. He stated, “Of course, I have said it from the beginning, I made a mistake, and I apologized in a sincere manner.”
The former federation chief faced significant backlash following the incident, with over 80 women’s players going on strike from the national team, and the controversial coach Jorge Vilda was dismissed. Rubiales resigned, citing his desire to support Spain’s bid for the 2030 men’s World Cup and to relieve pressure on his family, who had been affected by his actions.
Rubiales emphasized that such moments of jubilation often involve spontaneous celebrations without seeking permission, but he recognized that, as a leader, a more diplomatic and less personal approach was necessary.