Spanish EU Official Under Fire for Sexist Remark on Women’s Football

Get the latest update on the controversy surrounding Spanish EU official José Borrell's sexist remark about women's football. Click here to read more.

In a recent incident that has sparked controversy, Spanish EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell made a sexist remark about women’s football, claiming to be happy that “our women are learning to play football as well as men.” This ill-timed comment comes in the midst of a sexism outcry that began when the Spanish football federation chief, Luis Rubiales, kissed a victorious player on the lips. Borrell’s foot-in-mouth moment is just one in a long line of inappropriate comments from the EU’s high representative for foreign affairs. Despite Spain’s recent victory in the Women’s World Cup, tensions within the Spanish football establishment and its women players continue to persist.

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The recent victory of the Spanish Women’s Team in the Women’s World Cup should have been a moment of celebration and admiration for their incredible achievement. However, it was overshadowed by a sexism outcry surrounding a controversial kiss on the lips given by the Spanish football federation chief, Luis Rubiales, to one of the players, Jenni Hermoso. This incident sparked outrage and criticism, not just towards Rubiales, but also towards the broader issue of sexism in women’s football in Spain.

Josep Borrell’s Remark

In the midst of this controversy, Josep Borrell, the Spanish EU foreign policy chief, made a remark that further fueled the sexism storm. Borrell stated that he was happy women in Spain “are learning to play football as well as men, and that in itself is already very good news.” This statement not only showed a lack of understanding and respect for the skill and talent of the Spanish women’s team, but it also perpetuated the sexist notion that women’s football is inferior to men’s football.

Borrell attempted to justify his remark by recalling Andrés Iniesta’s winning goal for the Spanish men’s team in the 2010 World Cup final. However, this only served to highlight his ignorance and insensitivity, as it implied that the women’s team’s victory was somehow less significant or worthy of praise.

Previous Controversial Statements by Borrell

Borrell’s remark on women’s football is not the first time he has made ill-judged comments. Throughout his career, the EU’s high representative for foreign affairs has demonstrated a tendency to put his foot firmly in his mouth. These previous controversial statements have ranged from offensive remarks about different nationalities to insensitive comments about sensitive political issues.

His history of ill-judged comments raises questions about his suitability for his role as a top diplomat and highlights the need for greater awareness and sensitivity in his public statements.

World Cup Victory for Spanish Women’s Team

Despite the controversy and sexism outcry surrounding their victory, the Spanish Women’s Team emerged as the champions of the Women’s World Cup. This historic win marked the first time that the Spanish women’s team had lifted the global trophy, and it should have been a moment of celebration and pride for all of Spain.

The skill, dedication, and hard work of the players should have been the focus of attention, rather than the controversies that surrounded their triumph. It is crucial to recognize and acknowledge the achievements of the Spanish women’s team and to support and encourage the growth of women’s football in Spain.

Recriminations on Rubiales’ Kiss

The kiss on the lips given by Luis Rubiales to Jenni Hermoso, one of the players of the Spanish Women’s Team, sparked a series of recriminations and condemnations. Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez was among those who publicly condemned Rubiales for his actions, highlighting the unacceptable nature of the incident.

The government also demanded an urgent probe into Rubiales’ actions, emphasizing the need for transparency and accountability. It was reported that Jenni Hermoso had no involvement in an initial statement that exonerated Rubiales, which further raised concerns about the handling of the situation.

The condemnation and demand for a probe reflect the seriousness with which the incident was regarded. It is essential that such incidents are not swept under the rug but are instead properly investigated and addressed, sending a clear message that sexism and inappropriate behavior will not be tolerated.

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Feud Between Spanish Football Establishment and Women Players

The controversy surrounding Rubiales’ kiss is not an isolated incident but rather a reflection of a long-standing feud between the Spanish football establishment and the women players. Last September, 15 women players of the national team wrote letters to the association, expressing their dissatisfaction with the federation’s approach to running the team.

The dispute also involved coach Jorge Vilda, further highlighting the deep-rooted issues within Spanish women’s football. Some of the players even chose to quit the national team in protest, while others continued to strike. This discord and lack of unity within the women’s team have undoubtedly impacted its performance and created a challenging environment.

Resolving this feud and addressing the underlying issues is crucial for the progress and growth of women’s football in Spain. It requires a concerted effort from all parties involved to ensure that the players’ concerns are heard and that appropriate measures are taken to improve the overall conditions and support for women’s football.


Josep Borrell’s remark on women’s football during the Women’s World Cup victory of the Spanish Women’s Team has brought further attention to the ongoing issues of sexism, inequality, and a lack of support for women’s football in Spain. His ill-judged comment not only demonstrated a lack of understanding and respect but also highlighted the broader challenges faced by women in the sport.

The controversies surrounding Rubiales’ kiss and the feud between the football establishment and the women players further emphasize the need for change and improvement in Spanish women’s football. It is crucial for all stakeholders to come together, address the underlying issues, and work towards a more inclusive and supportive environment for women’s football.

The victory of the Spanish Women’s Team in the Women’s World Cup should serve as a catalyst for change and a celebration of the incredible achievements and potential of women in football. It is an opportunity to challenge sexist attitudes, promote equality, and foster a positive and empowering environment for women’s football in Spain.

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