Former Spanish football federation president Luis Rubiales continued to insist his kiss on Jenni Hermoso’s lips after the Women’s World Cup final was “a mutual act”, in an interview broadcast Tuesday in the United Kingdom.
World Cup-winning Spain midfielder Hermoso, 33, says the kiss was not consensual and a Spanish judge has summoned Rubiales to appear in court on Friday in a sexual assault investigation.
Rubiales, who stood down from his post on Sunday, three weeks after the incident during the final medal ceremony following Spain’s Sydney triumph, maintains his version is the “truth”.
“What we had is a spontaneous act, a mutual act, an act that both consented to, which was driven by the emotion of the moment, the happiness, so I maintain that that is the truth of what happened,” Rubiales told TalkTV show Piers Morgan Uncensored.
The 46-year-old described the kiss as “non-sexual”, having previously compared his behaviour to how he would act with his daughters.
“My intentions were noble, enthusiastic, 100 percent non-sexual, 100 percent, I repeat, 100 percent,” said Rubiales.
The former federation chief, who was provisionally suspended by FIFA before he resigned, said the kiss occurred in a moment of jubilation.
“You can imagine if you win the lottery or hopefully soon one day the war in the Ukraine finishes, I mean celebrations will go on up and down the globe,” said Rubiales.
“People don’t ask permissions, it’s just a happy, happy time and people celebrate.”
However Rubiales reiterated that he had asked permission for the kiss, which he described as “a peck”, and accepted that as president of the federation, the act was wrong.
“Of course, I have said it from the beginning, I made a mistake, and I apologised in a sincere manner,” he said.
“A president can give a hug, but needs to act in a more diplomatic and colder way.”
Rubiales faced unprecedented criticism after the kiss and his initial refusal to resign.
Over 80 women’s players went on strike from the national team and controversial coach Jorge Vilda was sacked.
The former chief said Sunday he was now stepping down to help Spain’s 2030 men’s World Cup bid, as well as his family who had come under pressure following his actions.