Spanish Soccer Chief Finds His Defenders Backing Away

When the president of the Spanish soccer federation, Luis Rubiales, kissed Jennifer Hermoso, a star ahead on the Spanish nationwide staff that had simply gained the Women’s World Cup, a lot of the Spanish information media condemned his habits. Most mainstream retailers, together with Spaniards on social media, referred to as out the kiss as proof of a callous disregard for Ms. Hermoso and, extra broadly, lingering sexism in soccer.

Not the radio sportscaster Manolo Lama. Mr. Lama mentioned on a well-liked late-night present on the Cadena Cope radio station, “Those who are angry, it’s because they have never been kissed.” He used the feminine pronoun for “they” in Spanish.

Earlier, in a post-match interview with Mr. Rubiales, additionally on Cadena Cope, a well-liked sports activities presenter, Juanma Castaño, didn’t query the federation president concerning the appropriateness of his habits. When Mr. Rubiales characterised the kiss as a “peck between two friends celebrating something” and disregarded his critics as “losers,” “idiots” and “stupid people,” Mr. Castaño laughed and mentioned, “I think the same thing.”

As the refrain of condemnation grew over the week following Mr. Rubiales’s actions on the World Cup remaining, it grew to become more durable to defend the federation president.

Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez waded in, calling it “unacceptable” that the soccer chief had kissed a participant on the lips with out her consent. The secretary of the opposition People’s Party, Cuca Gamarra, described the kiss as “shameful.” On Saturday, the world soccer federation briefly suspended Mr. Rubiales. On Monday, Spanish soccer officers will maintain an emergency assembly concerning the scenario.

Since their preliminary feedback, each sports activities journalists have apologized to their audiences. Mr. Castaño issued a press release final Monday saying that he now realized the kiss was “more than a mistake with no importance.”

Mr. Lama printed an apology of kinds on X, the social media platform previously referred to as Twitter, asking final Monday for “forgiveness from those I have offended.” But he didn’t condemn Mr. Rubiales, and wrote of the kiss: “I simply think it is an act produced from euphoria and without malice.”

“But Spain has become a country of inquisitors,” he continued, “if you think differently, you’ll be stoned.”

The Cadena Cope radio station didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.

The kiss has introduced the continuing vigorous dialog in Spain concerning the remedy of girls again into the fore.

Some of Spain’s conservative mainstream information retailers have used the incident to take a dig at a controversial legislation handed in August final yr by Mr. Sánchez’s Socialist authorities. The legislation classifies all nonconsensual intercourse acts as rape, however initially contained a loophole that allowed some convicted offenders to decrease their sentences.

On Saturday, an editorial in Spain’s conservative newspaper, La Razón, described the episode as a “national monstrosity,” and mentioned the progressivism of Mr. Sánchez’s authorities had created an surroundings that enabled Mr. Rubiales. “His vulgar and inappropriate behavior in the Women’s World Cup final would have been impossible” the editorial mentioned, with out the safety that Sánchez’s authorities “has provided to his escapades.”

The extra left-leaning El País has centered on the emergence of a hashtag in assist of Ms. Hermoso: “se acabó,” or “it’s over,” coined by Alexia Putellas, a member of the Spanish nationwide staff, who’s extensively acknowledged as the very best feminine participant on the earth. An editorial on Saturday mentioned that “women are saying enough to the abuse of power and Spanish society is with them.” By Sunday, El País led with the straightforward affirmation: “Spain no longer tolerates ‘los Rubiales,’” referring not solely to Mr. Rubiales, however to sexist habits basically.

The sports activities newspaper AS, which had appeared to initially again Mr. Rubiales, has dropped its assist for the soccer chief.

Earlier this week, it ran a headline blaming Ms. Hermoso — “Jenni lets Rubiales take the fall.” By Saturday, after widespread criticism, it was main with a photograph of Mr. Rubiales and a extra impartial headline in reference to him, “Struck down.”

Some of his colleagues on the Spanish soccer federation are shifting their allegiance as properly.

On Friday, as Mr. Rubiales defiantly introduced he wouldn’t be quitting, lots of his closest colleagues, together with Jorge Vilda and Luis de la Fuente, the managers of the Spanish girls’s and males’s squads, gave him a standing ovation.

Hours later, FIFA introduced Mr. Rubiales’s suspension from soccer for 90 days, and your entire feminine squad and dozens of different gamers signed a joint assertion saying they might not take the sphere to play for Spain “if the current managers continue.”

Mr. de la Fuente and Mr. Vilda have now distanced themselves from Mr. Rubiales, with Mr. Vilda saying that he regretted the “inappropriate conduct” of his boss.

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