Spain midfielder Jenni Hermoso defends football federation boss Luis Rubiales' kiss at Women's World Cup

The scene

Spain midfielder, Jenni Hermoso, has defended Spanish football federation president Luis Rubiales after he came under fire for kissing her on the lips following the team's Women's World Cup victory on Sunday, August 20, 2023.

Rubiales was criticised on social media for kissing Hermoso during the medal ceremony after Spain beat England 1-0 to lift the trophy for the first time.

"I didn't like it," said Spain midfielder Hermoso on an Instagram live stream after the game, although she was laughing as she spoke.

Later Hermoso said the moment was a "natural gesture of affection".

"It was a totally spontaneous mutual gesture because of the immense joy that winning a World Cup brings," said Hermoso, in comments passed to AFP by the Spanish federation.

"The president and I have a great relationship, his behaviour with all of us has been outstanding and it was a natural gesture of affection and gratitude.

"A gesture of friendship and gratitude cannot be gone over so much, we have won a World Cup and we are not going to deviate from what is important," she added.

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