Luis Rubiales Luis Rubiales

During Spain’s celebration of their 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup victory, Spanish soccer chief Luis Rubiales caused quite a stir when he was caught kissing a player on the lips without her wishes or consent. And he’s now apologizing for his actions.

“I made a mistake, for sure,” Rubiales said in a video released to the media, according to ESPN. “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. [There was] no bad faith from either side.

“Here we saw it as something natural and normal. But on the outside it has caused a stir, because people have felt hurt by it, so I have to apologize; there’s no alternative. I have to learn from this and understand that a president of an institution as important as the federation — above all in ceremonies and that kind of thing — should be more careful.”

Rubiales initially responded by calling anyone criticizing his actions “idiots,” and he also apologized for that reaction, as well.

“There are also some things which I said where, within this context, I said it seemed like idiocy. On the inside, nobody had seen it as important, but on the outside they had. So I want to apologize to those people,” Rubiales said. “I’m sure they’ll have their reasons.”

Rubiales expressed regret that the incident overshadowed the celebration of Spains victory in the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

“I’m also saddened, because this is the biggest success in our history in women’s football, the second World Cup that we’ve won, and this has affected the celebration,” Rubiales said.

“We have to give the merit to these women and the team led by Jorge Vilda, we have to celebrate it in style.”