Spain women’s national soccer team midfielder Henipher Hermoso,안전놀이터 who was the victim of a “surprise kiss” from the head of her country’s football federation during the post-winning ceremony at the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia-New Zealand 2023, has condemned the incident, saying it should not go unpunished.

“My union, Futpro, and my agent will defend my interests in this matter,” Hermoso said, according to a report by the BBC on Thursday. “We will ensure that such behavior is punished,” Futpro said in a statement, adding that “the (football federation president) must be sanctioned and exemplary measures adopted to protect female footballers from behavior we consider unacceptable.”

Spain won its first-ever World Cup on June 20, beating England 1-0 in the tournament final at Stadium Australia in Sydney, Australia. During the awards ceremony that followed, Spanish Football Federation president Luis Rubiales embraced Hermoso on the podium, grabbed his face with both hands and kissed him.

In the locker room, a video of Hermoso smiling but admitting he “didn’t feel good” when asked about it during a live Instagram broadcast caused a stir when it was shared on social media.

Major foreign media outlets strongly criticized Rubiales’ behavior, saying it constituted “non-consensual physical contact” and, in broader terms, sexual assault.

“What we saw was an unacceptable gesture,” said Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez at the Women’s World Cup victory celebration at his official residence, “and the apology from the president of the football federation is not enough. I don’t think it’s appropriate either,” he said. “The players gave everything to win, but the president’s behavior shows that there is still a long way to go for equality.”

The Spanish women’s soccer league, Liga F, said: “Mr. Rubiales has tarnished the World Cup victory. It is an unprecedented international embarrassment for Spain, for Spanish sport and for women’s soccer in the world,” and that “he should be disqualified.” “This is an incident that will go down in the history of world sport and will follow the Spanish women’s team like a tag,” said Liga F, which has sent a letter of protest to the National Sports Council (CSD) calling for Rubiales’ removal.

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