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Spain was celebrating its first One Spanish referee who helped Spain win the Women’s World Cup may have gone too far after video of him kissing Jenni Hermoso, a Spanish midfielder, provoked fury on social media.

Vision depicts Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) president Luis Rubiale grabbing Hermoso by the back of the head, kissing her on the lips, and lifting her off her feet in a bear hug as players entered the platform to receive their winner’s medals.

Post-ceremony, Hermoso commented “I didn’t like it” in reference to the kiss during a live video on her Instagram, but she later downplayed the incident in subsequent comments.

The enormous delight that winning a World Cup gives, according to Hermoso, “made it a totally spontaneous mutual gesture,” the Spanish federation told AFP.

“The president and I have a great relationship; he has been outstanding in his treatment of all of us; and it was a natural expression of love and gratitude.”We have won a World Cup and won’t stray from what is vital. A gesture of friendship and gratitude cannot be overstated.

Fans have nonetheless criticised his “weird” attitude, especially after video of him kissing another player on the cheek surfaced.

One person saw the incident’s trivialization as misogyny.

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“Kissing a lady without her permission is also awful misogyny in this nation, and I’m Spanish. Disgusting. Do not be silly,” one of them urged, while another commented on how the Spanish federation doesn’t even attempt to cover up its mistreatment. These federations getting away with this is making me so angry.

On Spanish radio station MARCA, Rubiales justified his behaviour.

When did you kiss Jenni? He responded to the criticism by saying, “Idiots are everywhere.

“We can’t listen to idiocy when two people make an unimportant display of affection.”

The scandal started when a group of 15 players protested the national team before the competition because of the coach Jorge Vilda’s relationship with the players and the relationship between the federation.

The RFEF received criticism for taking a hard line against the 15 players who were protesting, but most eventually gave in and were admitted to this tournament. Rubiales was a staunch supporter of Vilda.

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