The fallout from Spanish soccer federation president Luis Rubiales' unsolicited postgame kiss continued Tuesday when a government official called for his resignation.
Yolanda Díaz, Spain's second deputy prime minister and minister of labor and social economy, called Rubiales' actions after the women's team won the 2023 World Cup "an intolerable example of the machismo that women continue to endure" in a social media post Monday.
"Our champions are an example of equality and future. But there's still a lot to do," Díaz wrote in Spanish. "Advancing in equal pay in football and ending these abuses is essential."
She added that what Rubiales did was in violation of the federation's policy on sexual assault and called for those rules to be enforced.
"His excuses are useless," Díaz said. "What we ask is for the sports law to be applied and for the Sport's federation protocols to be activated. This person should resign."
Lo que hizo Rubiales es un ejemplo intolerable del machismo que seguimos soportando las mujeres.
Nuestras campeonas son ejemplo de igualdad y futuro. Pero aún queda mucho por hacer. Avanzar en la igualdad retributiva en el fútbol y terminar con estos abusos es fundamental. pic.twitter.com/NbhLiUyCGt
— Yolanda Díaz (@Yolanda_Diaz_) August 21, 2023
Rubiales visibly kissed Spanish midfielder Jenni Hermoso on the lips as she and the rest of her team received medals for their victory over England in the World Cup final on Sunday. Hermoso later said she "didn't like that" and outrage erupted out of the celebration.
The Spanish soccer federation then released a statement it said was from Hermoso that claimed Rubiales' action was "a totally spontaneous and mutual gesture."
On Monday, Rubiales publicly apologized for his actions after he initially called those who were upset "idiots."
"I made a mistake, for sure," Rubiales said. "I have to accept it. In a moment of such emotion, without any bad intention or bad faith, what happened, happened, in a very spontaneous way, with no bad faith from either side."
Pedro Sánchez, the prime minister of Spain, also commented on Rubiales. He called the kiss an "unacceptable gesture" and "apologies have not been enough."
Pedro Sánchez, presidente del Gobierno en funciones, sobre el comportamiento de Luis Rubiales en la final:
🗨️ “Lo que vimos fue un gesto inaceptable. Las disculpas no han sido suficientes. No son adecuadas. Tiene que seguir dando pasos el señor Rubiales”. pic.twitter.com/yeqAatl1dm
— Relevo (@relevo) August 22, 2023
FIFA, soccer's world governing body, still hasn't commented on the situation.
There were other controversial actions by Rubiales that night alone. He grabbed his crotch after the final whistle and in the locker room after the game told players he would marry Hermoso. Rubiales was also wrapped in a coaching scandal in 2022 that ended with 15 players resigning from the team.
But for now, Rubiales remains in charge of Spanish soccer.