Under-fire president of the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF), Luis Rubiales, resigned Sunday over his controversial kissing of Jennifer Hermoso during the celebration of the Spain Women’s World Cup win over England last month.
“After the rapid suspension carried out by FIFA, plus the rest of proceedings open against me, it is evident that I will not be able to return to my position,” the former player said in a statement posted to X, formerly Twitter.
This development followed weeks after the 46-year-old had refused to resign from his position despite huge pressure from the public over his conduct during the final of the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.
During the trophy presentation, Mr Rubiales kissed Ms Hermoso, a member of the Spain women’s national team, on the lips, which the player said was not “consensual” and was also accused of grabbing his scrotum in the VIP section of Stadium Australia where other dignitaries were seated.
After he refused to relinquish his position, FIFA provisionally suspended Mr Rubiales for 90 days and subsequently opened disciplinary proceedings against him. Also, the men’s national team condemned his actions.
“My daughters, my family and the people who love me have suffered the effects of persecution excessively, as well as many falsehoods, but it is also true that in the street, the truth is prevailing more every day,” stated Mr Rubiales.
In an interview with British journalist Piers Morgan on Sunday, Mr Rubiales said he decided to resign after consulting with family and friends.
“They say to me, ‘Luis, now you have to focus on your dignity and to continue your life, because if not, probably, you are going to damage people you love,” said Mr Rubiales.