Football: Spain beat England to win first Women’s World Cup

Spain's Alexia Putellas at the Women's World Cup 2023

Spain beat England in a cagey, tactical Women’s World Cup final on Sunday (1-0). However, celebrations have been marred by the actions of Spanish FA President Luis Rubiales, who has been criticised for kissing Jenni Hermoso. 

European Champions England would have arrived in the final with great confidence after beating home favourites Australia in the final. However, Sarina Wiegman’s side were dominated by a well-organised Spanish side, who stifled England’s attacking threat.

In a game of very few chances, Spain were clinical. Captain Olga Carmona scored the only goal of the game, capitalising on Lucy Bronze’s loss of possession, breaking and slotting past Mary Earps.

The England goalkeeper, who won the Golden Glove Award post-match, kept England in the game by saving a penalty in the second-half, but the Lionesses couldn’t profit from her impressive individual performance as England struggled to create clear-cut openings.

Celebrations marred by post-match controversy

Both sides were competing in their first ever Women’s World Cup final, and it was Spain who held their nerve to take the slender but deserved victory in Sydney.

However, the celebrations were marred by the action of Spanish FA president Rubiales, who kissed Spanish player Hermoso on the lips during the presentation ceremony. “I didn’t like it,” reacted the Spanish international on Instagram.

Rubiales has since apologised. “I was completely wrong. I have to admit it. I have to apologise, learn from this, and understand that when you are president, you have to be more careful,” he said on Monday.

Spain’s equalities minister Irene Montero has criticised Rubiales. “We should not assume kissing without consent is something ‘that happens’,” she said. His actions have dampened what is an euphoric moment for the Spain Women’s team as they overcame infighting and controversy to win their first World Cup title.


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Photo credit: Sven Beyrich