Spain’s acting second deputy prime minister, Yolanda Diaz, has called for Luis Rubiales to resign after kissing Jenni Hermoso at the Women’s World Cup. Rubiales, currently president of the Spanish football federation (RFEF), made headlines after kissing Hermoso on the lips during celebrations of Spain’s title. Spain beat England 1-0 in the 2023 Women’s World Cup final to collect its first-ever trophy at the tournament.

After receiving immediate backlash, Rubiales has since apologized for the inappropriate move.

“I made a mistake, for sure,” stated Rubiales. “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.”

Diaz says Hermoso was “harassed and assaulted” by Luis Rubiales

Nevertheless, the Spanish government official claims that the apology is not quite enough. “Our most resounding condemnation for what we saw,” Diaz proclaimed in a social media post regarding the now infamous kiss. “Nothing more and nothing less, a woman has been harassed and assaulted.”

“[Rubiales’] excuses are useless. What we ask is for the sports law to be applied and for the sport’s federation protocols to be activated. This person should resign.”

After the historic match, Hermoso stated that she “didn’t like” the kiss while on Instagram Live. The 33-year-old Spanish star then downplayed the moment during an interview on Monday. “It was a mutual, totally spontaneous gesture because of the huge joy of winning a World Cup,” Hermoso told news outlet Agencia EFE. “The ‘presi’ and I have a great relationship. It was a natural gesture of affection and gratitude.”

Multiple players previously had issue with head coach

Nevertheless, many feel as if the move by Rubiales takes away from Spain’s Women’s World Cup triumph. The moment also compounds issues within the organization. Fifteen total players raised concerns over head coach Jorge Vilda’s treatment of the squad last year. Rubiales ultimately sided with Vilda, and the coach remained with the team. Then, the RFEF only selected three of the aforementioned 15 players for the Women’s World Cup roster.

PHOTO: IMAGO / Sports Press Photo