Giles Brandreth has supported Spanish FA president Luis Rubiales for forcing a player to kiss him after Spain’s World Cup victory.
Rubiales received harsh criticism for grabbing and kissing player Jenni Hermoso on the lips during Spain’s Women’s World Cup victory against England in August.
She later expressed her displeasure with the event, in which Rubiales grabbed her face and kissed her after embracing her, and stated that she would take legal action against him.
Disciplinary procedures have been initiated against him, and Rubiales is set to retire today.
The disturbing incident was covered on This Morning on Friday, with Andi Peters and Rochelle Humes chatting via video connection to Giles.
But Giles tried to belittle the gravity of the situation, saying Rubiales was content, comparing it to England’s Secretary of State James Cleverly, who just shook the players’ hands.
He said: ‘He was exuberant with everybody. Every bloke he met, he embraced them, he lifted them off the ground. Every young woman player, he embraced them, he kissed them.
‘He was so happy, he was over the moon. By contrast, our own Foreign Secretary James Cleverly behaved in a very dignified way, shook the hand of each player. He tried to shake the English hands a little more firmly but he was so discreet he almost mightn’t have been there. At least the Spaniard was revelling in the moment. He got carried away.
‘He’s living to regret it, but I think it was exuberance rather than anything unpleasant.’
Rochelle jumped in to point out that the player ‘has said she did not enjoy it. And that’s what kind of changes [it] because when a woman is saying “Hang on, that made me quite uncomfortable, I didn’t enjoy it,” we need to think about that.’
Tim Campbell, a former Apprentice judge who was also on the couch, agreed with Rochelle.
He said: ‘Exuberance is all well and good but in the moment there were two things. One, he grabbed her head and pulled her towards him. And before that he was grabbing his crotch in an interesting way.’
‘You should really be thinking about the other person.’
Tim was alluding to Rubiales, who was heavily chastised for grasping his crotch in joy of Spain’s triumph against England while standing yards away from Spain’s Queen Letizia and her adolescent daughter Sofia.
This Morning fans were dissatisfied, going to Twitter, nicknamed X, to express their disappointment, with one saying, ‘Would he have kissed the male football team on the lips? No!’
And another pointed out: ‘Dude used both hands to grab her head and kiss her on the lips.’
Rubiales apologised for the Hermoso kiss via video on Monday, but Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez called it “insufficient.”
In reaction to the situation, the Spanish FA held an emergency general session on Friday, while also announcing that internal processes had begun.
Later, he caved to criticism and announced his resignation on Friday.
This Morning airs weekdays from 10am on ITV and ITV X
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