Spain & World Cup kiss
Our Rusuk Blog writer Sergey

“I’m sorry, and I apologize for it.”

“I don’t think I have to resign; I think I have to ask for forgiveness.”

 “I made a human error, and it is inexcusable.”

“If I could go back in time, I would not do that again.” 

“We all have to do more for equality. Me too. And I am working on that.”

Luis Rubialis, Spain women’s national team head coach, said this, explaining his kissing Aitana Bonmati on the cheek and, most scandalously, kissing Jenny Hermoso on the lips. 

I find it curious he refused to resign. I suspect Spanish men are not so against his actions compared to Spanish women. It is a reason for his refusal: the macho thing. 

I come from a country that is definitely more sexist than Spain — even considering that Spanish or French culture is much more liberal on this issue than the US or UK. 

Aitana Bonmati - Kiss
Aitana Bonmati

I wonder what would happen in Russia to a man on such an occasion. And I have my answer: nothing. I’ve heard that Leonid Slutsky, currently the head of the LDPR party and Putin’s future election puppet, is very famous for sexually harassing women journalists. Nothing happens to him. There was some noise as some of those women were complaining. From what I’ve read, he was not just trying to kiss but grab women. Not even mentioning his verbal harassment, according to those women. I am not sure, but it seems to me he didn’t even bother to say he was sorry afterwards. He will reportedly run as Putin’s sparring partner in the March 2024 presidential ‘election.’

In this regard, Russia is an even more macho place than Spain. I would go even further and say that some things considered harassment in the West are not for many Russian women. It is just a different culture, and probably not yet the time for such changes. 

Luis Rubialis made a stupid mistake as he couldn’t control his temper. I understand he was emotional at the moment as his team won the women’s football World Cup, beating England in the final. I think it would have been better if he resigned instead of demonstrating how cool he is for his future career. You made a mistake; fix it. The macho philosophy is no more attractive to too many. The true macho thing now for him would be stepping down instead of stubbornly trying to hold on. Ultimately, he is a good coach, and his professional setbacks do not cause his possible resignation. 

The Spanish football boss and that kiss…….

Roger Bara

Back in 1999, England Men’s football manager, the popular Glenn Hoddle, gave an interview during which he mentioned his belief in re-incarnation. “The spirit has to come back again to face some of the things you have done, good and bad,” Hoddle said. He went on to suggest that people born with disabilities were victims of karma. “What you sow, you have to reap. It comes around.”

Glenn Hoddle

This was nothing to do with football, or the England team, just an individual’s belief. He was sacked very soon afterwards, with his bosses saying his position had become “untenable”, with 84% of the public agreeing with the necessity of his demise, and very highly critical of the offence caused to many disabled people.

You can therefore easily imagine what would have happened to Spanish football boss Luis Rubiales had he kissed an England Lioness full on the lips in front of millions of people. He would be, and indeed should be, instantly dismissed, with practically the whole country and most of the world steadfastly behind that decision.

Interestingly, neither Hoddle or Rubiales thought they had done anything erroneous or immoral, and both refused to fall on their sword. 

To me, the Rubiales kiss bordered on sexual harassment and abuse, though in fairness to him, Spain remains a country where sexism remains rampant. That’s still no excuse. He was on the world stage as a powerful man in an influential and eminent position, and he simply has to go. He has to go now, not after numerous enquiries and investigations. There is nothing to investigate. He is no longer fit for purpose, and bigoted bullies like him should never again rise to that elevated position in football. 

And don’t bother with the “It was only a kiss, not a bloody rape” business. Anybody that insensitive to the feelings and emotions of the opposite sex are not worth your sympathy.

The Spanish football boss, and that kiss….

Photograph of Dean Lewis

Messin’ up is a part of the human condition. Every last one of us has screwed-up many, many times. Unfortunately, we don’t get do-overs and any high-profile individual must be very careful in words and actions. Fail and you’ll end up on the national news. You don’t need to be clairvoyant to know Spanish Football Coach Rubiales secretly wishes he had a do-over. He made an incredibly dumb error in judgement.

What I find interesting is not his poor decision making but the response of the entire Spanish nation. There is no way the punishment will fit the crime. As an aside, if you want to see the crime, here’s a video. Not only is this man’s career over, his life is in ruins. There is now an investigation that could well end in sexual assault charges from Spanish prosecutors. This could be an issue of translation but sexual assault is a serious felony in the US. Rubiales will not be able to get a job coaching six year olds after this. Question: would you want someone like that coaching your kids? Of course not, so he’s finished. In fact, in the US, every applicant for any job is always asked if he has been convicted of a crime. This guy will not get hired as a bag boy at the supermarket.

Not only is the soon to be jailed felon getting fired, but anyone in Spanish Football (soccer) who supports him will also be fired. Watch the video if you don’t believe me. The men who previously supported Coach Rubiales are now calling for his resignation. Only Government approved opinions are acceptable in Spain. 

Coach Rubiales & Jenny Hermoso

One commentator for CNN, Jill Filipovic, says Rubiales used the championship to “publicly violate a player.” Many are calling this Spain’s MeToo moment. This also bothers me. This unwanted kiss is being equated to actual sexual assaults. Jeffrey Epstein, a catalyst for the MeToo movement, was a pig. He escaped justice by hanging himself in his cell. I am unaware Rubiales has a history of raping players or anyone else for that matter. As of this writing, no other women have stepped forward with claims they were kissed. To an outsider, non-footie fan, this seems like a one off, stupid mistake, not sexual assault.

Any long-time reader of these pages will already know my opinion of FIFA. So, it grates me a little to admit this but they are right: they gave him a 90-day suspension. That is a punishment that fits the crime and he deserves punishment. That should have been the end of it but no, we must absolutely destroy this man AND anyone who has an unapproved opinion (voices support for him).

I know about half our readers live outside the US, so this doesn’t have the resonance for you as it will for an American. The Conservative Party in the US, The Republicans, will be quick to point this out – how this is another example of woke culture silencing others… and their right, damnit. This sucks!