Resilient Spanish Women’s Team Triumphs Over World Cup Kiss Scandal to Safeguard the Spanish Brand

How the Spanish Women’s Team Saved the Spanish Brand from the World Cup Kiss Scandal

The World Cup kiss scandal that rocked the soccer world last month has not tarnished the Spanish brand, according to Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez. He praised the Spanish women’s team for their historic victory against England and their courageous stance against the unwanted kiss from Spanish football chief Luis Rubiales.

Resilient Spanish Women's Team Triumphs Over World Cup Kiss Scandal to Safeguard the Spanish Brand

Image credit -Pedro Sanchez X

Rubiales, who is the president of the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF), kissed Jennifer Hermoso, the star striker of the Spanish team, without her consent after she scored the winning goal in the final match. The kiss was captured on camera and sparked a global outrage over his sexist and disrespectful behavior.

Hermoso, who is 33 years old, said she felt “vulnerable and a victim of an impulse-driven, sexist, out of place act without any consent.” She added that she was “not respected” by Rubiales, who is 46 years old.

Resilient Spanish Women's Team Triumphs Over World Cup Kiss Scandal to Safeguard the Spanish Brand

image credit – jenni hormoso

Rubiales has refused to resign from his post, despite facing a provisional suspension by FIFA and a legal case by the Spanish government. He claimed that the kiss was “spontaneous, mutual, euphoric and (done) with consent.”

However, his claim was contradicted by Hermoso and many other witnesses who saw the incident. They said that Rubiales grabbed Hermoso by the neck and forced his lips on hers, while she tried to push him away.

The scandal has overshadowed the remarkable achievement of the Spanish women’s team, who won their first ever World Cup title and made history for their country. They have received widespread support and admiration from fans, media, celebrities, and politicians.

Sanchez, who is the Spanish prime minister, said he was proud of the Spanish women’s team and their reaction to the kiss scandal. He said they represented the true values of Spain and its brand.

He said: “I really believe that the Spain brand is the reaction of the female players of our national soccer team and the spectacular reaction of the Spanish society that has joined them in saying ‘it’s over’ – and that it’s over is with all the consequences for all the leaders who have been involved in these unfortunate events.”

He also said that “the Spain that is coming is feminist. Whether you like it or not.”

He made these remarks at an event in Malaga, where he shared a clip of his speech on X, formerly known as Twitter.

Sanchez also criticized Rubiales for his actions and words that embarrassed and did not represent Spain. He said that “one could not aspire to represent Spain and make Spain look bad with attitudes and speeches that embarrassed… and did not represent” the country.

He was not alone in his condemnation of Rubiales. Vero Boquete, who was the captain of the Spanish women’s team at the 2015 World Cup, said that Rubiales’ behavior was the “tip of the iceberg” of the cultural and systemic problems facing the RFEF.

She told Reuters that it was “crazy” that Rubiales was still president despite his suspension and investigation. She said that he had shown a lack of respect and professionalism towards the women’s team and soccer in general.

She also said that he had failed to address the issues of gender equality, pay gap, facilities, resources, and media coverage that affected women’s soccer in Spain.

The Spanish government has tried to remove Rubiales from his position, but has faced legal obstacles. The Court of Arbitration in Sport (TAD) agreed to open a case against Rubiales, but rejected the government’s argument that his offenses were “very serious” – preventing his immediate suspension.

Resilient Spanish Women's Team Triumphs Over World Cup Kiss Scandal to Safeguard the Spanish Brand
Picture shows a mural by Italian street artist Salvatore Benintende aka TvBoy which depicts Spanish Football Federation President Luis Rubiales kissing Spain midfielder Jenni Hermoso, in Barcelona on September 1, 2023. The scandal over Spanish football federation head Luis Rubiales’ kiss on the lips of star player Jenni Hermoso, after the Women’s World Cup final match in Sydney, has sparked an international outcry and plunged Spanish football into chaos. (Photo by Pau BARRENA / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE – MANDATORY MENTION OF THE ARTIST UPON PUBLICATION – TO ILLUSTRATE THE EVENT AS SPECIFIED IN THE CAPTION (Photo by PAU BARRENA/AFP via Getty Images)

The Minister of Culture and Sport Miquel Iceta said he would file a separate complaint to TAD and request Rubiales be removed from his post until the investigation was resolved.

Meanwhile, Rubiales has received some support from his mother, Ángeles Béjar, who is 71 years old. She locked herself in a church on hunger strike to protest what she called an “inhumane, bloodthirsty hunt” against her son.

She said that her son was innocent and that he had apologized to Hermoso. She also blamed the media for creating a false image of her son and ruining his reputation.

However, her protest has not swayed public opinion or changed the facts of the case. The World Cup kiss scandal remains a stain on Rubiales’ career and a threat to his future as the head of Spanish football.

The only silver lining in this dark cloud is the shining example of the Spanish women’s team, who have shown their strength, skill, and dignity on and off the field. They have saved the Spanish brand from being tarnished by Rubiales’ kiss scandal and have inspired millions of people around the world with their historic win.

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