The president of the Royal Spanish Football Federation is facing backlash after he gave Hermoso an unexpected kiss on the lips as she stood onstage to receive her gold medal alongside her teammates following Spain's victory. Now, the 45-year-old has shared a statement about the occurrence, saying that he didn't have "any intention of bad faith."
"There's an event, which I have to regret, which is everything that happened between the player and I, with a magnificent relationship between the two of us, the same as with the others," Rubiales said in an Aug. 21 video statement, translated into English via CNN. "And well, I surely made a mistake, I have to recognize that. In a moment of elation, without any intention of bad faith, well, what happened happened—I think in a very spontaneous way. I repeat, there was no bad faith between either of the two of us."
He added, "Here, we didn't understand it because we saw something natural, normal and in no way, I repeat, with bad faith. But outside of the bubble, it looks like it has turned into a storm and so, if there are people who have felt offended, I have to say I'm sorry."
When asked about the kiss and the response that quickly followed hours after the win, Rubiales initially told Radio Marca that it was "a moment of affection without any importance," adding that "we can't listen to idiocy."
Now, Rubiales said he realized he needs to "be more careful" at public events, noting that his prior remark was because "within the bubble, no one gave it the slightest bit of importance."
"So, I also want to say sorry to these people because I understand that," he continued, "if outside, it was seen in a different light, surely they have their reasons."
The RFEF chief concluded his message with a focus on the players' victory, adding, "I think that we have to give all of the merit to these women, to the team led by Jorge Vilda and we have to celebrate it to the skies as much as we can."
As for Hermoso, in a video featuring the players celebrating their win shared to X, formerly known as Twitter, the midfielder shared that she "didn't like" the impromptu kiss.