Karl-Heinz Rummenigge does not want to overestimate the kissing scandal surrounding the Spanish association president Luis Rubiales after the World Cup final between Spain and England’s soccer players.

“I think you shouldn’t overdo it,” said the FC Bayern supervisory board member on the sidelines of the “Sport Bild” awards in Hamburg. He knows Rubiales well, who kissed star player Jennifer Hermoso on the mouth without being asked when the medal was handed over on Sunday, says Rummenigge: “When you become world champion, you are emotional. And what he did there is – sorry, with all due respect – absolutely fine.”

The 67-year-old explained that Rubiales was probably emotional. “I can remember the last time we won the Champions League, I kissed men – not on the mouth, but out of joy.” In football, emotionality is important, one should “leave the church in the village,” said Rummenigge.

Donata Hopfen, the former managing director of the German Football League, has a completely different opinion on this than Rummenigge. “If that’s not what both sides want, then that’s a very difficult behavior. And from my point of view, that’s not how it’s been commented on,” said Hopfen: “It can be invasive and that’s how it actually works.”

Neuendorf: “Wouldn’t have acted like that”

BVB boss Hans-Joachim Watzke and DFB president Bernd Neuendorf, who also know Rubiales personally, reacted more cautiously. “I imagined you would be in a similar situation: I don’t think I would have acted like that,” Neuendorf told the German Press Agency. Watzke said: “I’m always careful to judge something from a distance. I don’t know what happened before, whether they spoke to each other or whether it was an overflowing feeling of joy. I don’t know, you have to be there for that and I wasn’t, so I’m shutting up.”

The 45-year-old Rubiales congratulated Hermoso, who was twelve years younger, hugged her tightly, kissed her twice on the cheek before taking her head in both hands and kissing her on the mouth. He has since apologized for it.

Before Rummenigge and Neuendorf, other officials had already commented on the case. “It’s unacceptable. It’s unbelievable,” said Dutch women’s national team coach Andries Jonker.