Spanish FA chief Luis Rubiales claims fury over kissing Jenni Hermoso was due to cultural misunderstandings about Latin people – and he would have done the same to a male player
- Whilst speaking about the incident he said ‘it’s pretty normal in a Latin world’
Former Spanish FA president Luis Rables has claimed the fury over ‘kissgate’ is due to a misunderstanding of Latin culture and claims he would have done the same to a male player.
Rubiales sparked global uproar when he grabbed and kissed Jenni Hermoso in the aftermath of Spain winning the Women’s World Cup in August.
For weeks Rubiales refused to resign, despite the mounting calls for him to do so.
On Sunday he announced he would be stepping down – but promised to continue to ‘defend his innocence’.
Protests against his presidency erupted across Spain and it’s Equalities Minister equated the kiss to ‘sexual violence’.
But the 46-year-old has put the scandal down to a cultural misunderstanding. During an interview with Piers Morgan Uncensored on TalkTV which aired on Tuesday evening, he said ‘it’s pretty normal in a Latin world’.
Former Spanish FA president Luis Rables claims the fury over ‘kissgate’ is due to a misunderstanding of Latin culture in TalkTv interview with Piers Morgan
Rubiales sparked global uproar when he grabbed and kissed Jenni Hermoso in the aftermath of Spain winning the Women’s World Cup in August
Footage has also emerged on Twitter of Rubiales grabbing his crotch just metres away from Queen Letizia and her 16-year-old daughter, Princess Infanta Sofía, at the World Cup final.
READ MORE: Did Luis Rubiales’ daughters pressure him into quitting? Spanish football chief admits his girls told him to ‘focus on my dignity’
During the TalkTV interview he said he apologised to the Queen of Spain and continued to defend the kiss.
He said: ‘We were both emotional. We congratulated eachother, I asked her “can I give you a quick peck?” – which is normal in our country – I give her a quick peck, I think she gave me one or two slaps in my side and that was it.
‘No intention of course, no sexual connotation or anything, just a moment of happiness, just great joy in that moment.’
He added: ‘I think Latin people – and it’s a cultural question – have that tactile [approach] … it’s pretty normal in a Latin world between guys and girls.’
Mr Morgan asked if the interaction would have been the same if the Spanish Men’s team had won the World Cup.
He responded: ‘No doubt about it. 100 per cent.’
Hermoso has said she did not consent to the kiss and felt ‘vulnerable and the victim of an aggression’.
During an interview with Piers Morgan Uncensored on TalkTV, Rubiales (left) described the incident and said ‘it’s pretty normal in a Latin world’
Rubiales kissed Hermoso after Spain’s 1-0 win against England in the World Cup final on August 20
She lodged a formal complaint against him last week before returning to Mexico where she plays her club football.
In his resignation, Rubiales said he spoke to his three daughters Lucía, Ana and Elena, as well as his father and friends before reaching the decision – which comes after weeks of pressure.
Rubiales has repeatedly referenced his three daughters during the ongoing saga, even initially defending the kiss by comparing the act to him kissing one of them.
Spain’s top criminal court is now probing whether Rubiales’ actions constitute sexual assault.
The Prosecutors’ Office said it has started the investigation because ‘the sexual act was not consented’.
Additionally, FIFA handed him an initial 90-day suspension, and are pushing to ban him for longer, and the Spanish FA publicly apologised for his behaviour.
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