Spanish football federation president Luis Rubiales was heavily criticised on social media on Sunday for kissing player Jenni Hermoso on the lips during Spain’s Women’s World Cup celebrations in Sydney.
La Roja lifted the trophy after beating England 1-0 in Australia but victory was tarnished by the incident which occurred shortly after the game amid the medal ceremony.
“I didn’t like it,” said Spain midfielder Hermoso on an Instagram live stream, although she was laughing as she spoke.
“It’s a spontaneous celebration that happened like that, the two are good friends,” a Spanish federation spokesman told AFP.
Spain’s World Cup charge was tainted by controversy over both the federation and coach Jorge Vilda’s relationship with the players.
Several top stars formed part of a 15-player protest against the national team ahead of the tournament, although many relented in their stance and three were included in the squad.
Rubiales was a firm backer of Vilda and the RFEF was criticised for their strong position against the 15 protesting players.
Hermoso, who plays for Mexican side Pachuca, missed a penalty in the match but Spain held on to win through Olga Carmona’s first-half strike.
“We played how we wanted to play and we won a World Cup,” an emotional Hermoso told Spanish broadcasters La 1, in tears after the game.
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