Spain star Jenni Hermoso has spoken out after she was kissed on the lips by her country's Football Federation president Luis Rubiales after the Women's World Cup final on Sunday night.
The incident occurred as the Spanish midfielder made her way to the podium following Spain's defeat of England in the final.
She was handed her medal by FIFA president Gianni Infantin, then Rubiales hugged her and lifted her off her feet.
The pair had a brief conversation before Rubiales put his arms around the 33-year-old and kissed her on the lips.
According to Fox Sports, footage from the Spain locker room later showed Rubiales declaring there would be an all-expenses paid trip to Ibiza for the team, adding 'and there, we’ll celebrate my wedding with Jenni!'
Hermoso was later asked about the incident by Spanish TV network La 1.
“Eh... yeah, I did not enjoy that," she responded to the question.
Rubiales was also asked about it during an interview with Radio MARCO.
"The kiss with Jenni? There are idiots everywhere. When two people have a minor show of affection, we can't listen to idiocy," the Spanish football boss responded.
"We are champions and that's what I'll take."
Hermoso later defended Rubiales and said the moment was a 'natural gesture of affection'.
“It was a totally spontaneous mutual gesture because of the immense joy that winning a World Cup brings,” Hermoso said in comments passed to AFP by the Spanish federation.
She continued: “The president and I have a great relationship, his behaviour with all of us has been outstanding and it was a natural gesture of affection and gratitude.
“A gesture of friendship and gratitude cannot be gone over so much, we have won a World Cup and we are not going to deviate from what is important.”
However, journalists who were covering the event have criticised Rubiales' behaviour.
Colin Millar, who writes about European soccer for the Daily Mirror, described Rubiales’ behaviour as 'not ok'.
“This the highlight of a footballer’s career and they are highly emotionally charged,” he posted on X.
He continued: "It is very clearly deeply inappropriate (at best) to pull someone into you, touch them like that and kiss their lips, without consent. This may be construed as 'laughing about it', or else she is just deeply embarrassed and doesn't want to speak about it..."
Alberto Ortega of the Spanish newspaper El Confidencial posted on X: “Rubiales taking the trophy from the players to give it to Queen Leticia and kissing Jennifer Hermoso on the mouth is simply disgusting.”
He added: “A new demonstration of the need to suck the camera [be the center of attention] and be the protagonist when it is not his turn."Featured Image Credit: La 1. Daniela Porcelli/ISI Photos/Getty Images