Spanish Prime Minister: Football Federation Head's Apology for a Kiss Was 'Insufficient'
Acting Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez has stated that the kiss by Luis Rubiales, President of the Spanish Football Federation, on the lips of player Jenni Hermoso was an "unacceptable gesture," adding that the apology for it was "insufficient", as reported by The Guardian.
Following Spain's 1-0 victory over England in the Women's World Cup, Federation President Luis Rubiales grabbed team forward Jenni Hermoso by the head and pulled her towards him for a lip kiss.
Hermoso later stated that she was uncomfortable with the gesture, which rapidly ignited public outrage.
Acting Minister for Equality Irene Montero called it a "form of sexual assault," while the Dutch players' union Fifpro labelled it as "inappropriate or unacceptable in any context."
Acting Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez remarked that Rubiales' action signifies that Spain still has a long way to go regarding gender equality and women's rights.
Miguel Galan, the national coach of the Spanish Football Federation, filed an official complaint with the National Sports Council, a government body that oversees sports in Spain. The complaint describes the kiss as a "sexist, intolerable act in sport" and alleges that it violates Spanish law prohibiting sexism in sports.
"This is a very serious violation," added Galan.
He is calling for disciplinary action to be taken against Rubiales.
Soon after, Acting Minister of Labour and Deputy Prime Minister Yolanda Díaz joined those calling for Rubiales to resign.
"He has harassed and, undoubtedly, assaulted a woman," Díaz told reporters.
"His justifications are absolutely futile. We ask for compliance with the law that regulates sports and for the activation of federation protocols," she emphasised.
Luis Rubiales, President of the Spanish Football Federation, apologised on Monday for his emotional act, stating that he was "completely wrong." In a video published on Monday, Rubiales said, "It was without bad intentions at the moment when I was very excited. At the time, it seemed natural, but externally it caused a stir. I must apologise, learn from this, and understand that when you're the President, you have to be more careful."
The Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) has called for an emergency general assembly "as a matter of urgency."