Tue, 12 Sep 2023 Feature Article

The Kiss of Death!

The Kiss of Death!

Then all hell broke loose. The kiss itself, though short-lived, appeared to have been planted on the mouth greedily instead of the cheekbone.That was the first mistake."

It was meant to be a little fervent, lightning kiss of honor on the lips, but he soon realised that when it comes to kisses, the lines of what is big or small, quick or long are blurred with confusion. Oh, how just one kiss can set the world on fire, fire as fierce as hell!

Have we all become so morally supercilious, and avidly judgemental that we yell and scream, swear and swoon, stutter and splutter at a little unguarded kiss of honor to the point of spilling a cup of hot coffee in our clothes?

I pity the disgraced former head of the Spanish Football Federation for the collage of condemnation he has suffered since his moment of madness became a subject of public inquisition, an arena for the powers of self righteousness.

This case ticks all the boxes of a lively soap opera. The Spanish women's football team had just won their first ever women's world cup trophy. Everybody was in a celebratory, drowsy and somewhat kinky mood, which is not abnormal with such hairbreadth victories.

While the vanquished English players soaked themselves in sorrow and disappointment at one end of the pitch, the victors shared in an orgy of hugs and kisses liberaly at the other end, a normal habit associated with champions.

The cameras found nothing unusual or non consensual about the free exchange of kisses and festive hugs among the celebrants although some of the touches could be classified as kinky.

It was only when Luis Rubiales, the hard working boss of the Spanish Football Federation (who had worked so hard behind the scenes for this victory) planted what he thought was a celebratory kiss of victory on one of the talented players as they filed past the football officials for their medals that the cameras rolled into action.

Then all hell broke loose. The kiss itself, though short lived, appeared to have been planted on the mouth rather voraciously instead of the cheekbone.That was the first mistake.

Then l thought l saw a twinkle of brightness in his eyes, a clear sign of the rush of blood into his head. Don't ask me whether he drew her close to his side, for that kind of kiss required some degree of body affinity and transfer of power.

And since that unfortunate moment, Rubiales has known no peace. Women groups and activists, football administrators (with more penchant for notoriety), the political media led by BBC and CNN, social commentators, and the far right morality champions have had a field day in their relentless ransacking of Rubiales, culminating in his untimely resignation yesterday.

How one avaricious kiss could spark such a forest of bushfire criticism in our age of technology defy reason. The kiss has ignited protests on the streets of Madrid and elsewhere and plunged an otherwise triumphant event into a valediction of mourning for the household of Luis Rubiales.

What if Rubiales was a female? Would a "she" Rubiales have attracted this global hysteria of condemnation? Aren't those complaining about male domination of football themselves discriminating against men with this unnecessary hue and cry?

Jenni Hermoso herself may have been embarrassed by the unsolicited public kiss she got, and rightly so. But she did not appear to dislike it at first. I thought she even smiled back, unless there was a mist on my eyes. Her change of heart was a result of the cacophony of protests that instantly demonised the kiss.

And now, sexual misconduct charges are being levelled against the embattled Rubiales after he has been stripped of his job, vehicle, salary and reputation. The powerful would destroy their own if it is their only means to self- preservation!

If Spain had lost the match, there would have been no celebration to warrant such a riotous kiss. The Spanish Football Federation wouldn't have been at the pinacle of embarrassment and Rubiales' mother would not have embarked on a hunger strike in a church to purge the world of conspiracy against her innocent son.

If l had the power of pardon, I would forgive Rubiales and restore him to his office. We all go astray every now and then but are restored again because someone believed in us and forgave us.

Rubiales deserves our sympathy just as Jenni Hermoso. To cast him out like a demon is a bigger ignominy than his crime.

"ls there a place for the hopeless sinner who has hurt all mankind to save his own?"

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