Luis Rubiales, president of the Spanish football federation (RFEF), has become something of a global punching bag in recent days after his non-consensual kiss of star Spain player Jenni Hermoso.
Yolanda Díaz, Spain’s acting second deputy prime minister, is calling for Rubialies to resign.
“Our most resounding condemnation for what we saw,” Diaz said on X. “Nothing more and nothing less, a woman has been harassed and assaulted.”
Pedro Sánchez, Spain’s acting prime minister, said Rubiales’ apology for kissing Hermoso “wasn’t sufficient.”
“I made a mistake, for sure,” Rubiales said in a video released to the media. “I have to accept it. In a moment of such emotion, without any bad intention or bad faith, what happened, happened, in a very spontaneous way. [There was] no bad faith from either side.
“Here we saw it as something natural and normal. But on the outside it has caused a stir, because people have felt hurt by it, so I have to apologize; there’s no alternative. I have to learn from this and understand that a president of an institution as important as the federation — above all in ceremonies and that kind of thing — should be more careful.”
Sánchez’s comments came after he hosted the Spain team at Moncloa Palace, the Spanish prime minister’s residence, and awarded the players and staff the Gold Medal of the Royal Order of Sports Merit. Sánchez shook Rubiales’ hand during the visit.
“The apologies made by Mr. Rubiales are not enough. I even think that they are not appropriate and that, therefore, Mr. Rubiales needs to continue to take steps to clarify what we all saw,” Sánchez told the media.