Spain’s head of the association Luis Rubiales received heavy criticism in his home country for kissing footballer Jennifer Hermoso on the mouth at the award ceremony after the World Cup final in Sydney.

One should not assume that kissing without consent is something that just happens, wrote Spain’s Equality Minister Irene Montero on X, formerly Twitter. “It’s a form of sexual violence that we women suffer every day and that has been invisible up to now and that we are not allowed to normalize,” explained the 35-year-old politician. This is a task for society as a whole. “The focus is on approval. Only a yes is a yes,” the minister clarified.

The Spanish Minister for Social Rights, Ione Belarra, also wrote on X, formerly Twitter: “We all think: If they do this in front of the whole of Spain, what will they not do in private? Sexual violence against women has to be come to an end.”

Rubiales hugged and hugged the Spanish players after winning the title 1-0 against England. Videos posted on social media showed the 45-year-old kissing Hermoso on the mouth after a hug and a kiss on the cheek. “I didn’t like it,” said the 33-year-old offensive player later when asked about the scene.

On Radio Marca, Rubiales reacted angrily to criticism of his action. “The kiss with Jenni? There are idiots everywhere. When two people share an unimportant gesture of mutual affection, you can’t pay any attention to the crap that’s being said,” he said on the way to Sydney Airport.