The President of Spanish football federation, Luis Rubiales on Sunday quit his position three weeks after the scandal over allegations of an unsolicited kiss on the lips to a women’s national team player following the nation’s win in the final of the FIFA Women’s World Cup to claim the ultimate trophy.
Rubiales announced his resignation in a statement saying his position had become untenable, after which the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) confirmed that a resignation letter was received by acting president Pedro Rocha.
After Spain’s win over England in the final handing the nation its first ever Women’s World Cup in Sydney on August 20, Rubiales’ actions caused massive outrage among players, government officials and many in the wider Spanish society who questioned the blatant sexism in sport. Rubiales kissed player Jenni Hermoso as the players lined up to collect their winners’ medals.
The player on her part came out and clarified that the kiss was uncalled for and she had never consented to it. In the last few days, his position came under fire after a Spanish prosecutor filed a complaint with the High Court against Rubiales on Friday for sexual assault and coercion.
The complaint describes how Rubiales kissed Hermoso on the mouth “without her consent” while holding her head with both hands after Spain’s win over England. It came after Hermoso herself had earlier in the week, opted to lodge a criminal complaint over the matter.
Meanwhile, Rubiales has maintained that the kiss was mutual and consensual, and had until Sunday defied calls from government officials and players demanding his resignation.
He had also been suspended for three months from all football activities by FIFA pending an investigation by football’s world governing body into his actions. In his statement, Rubiales said, “After the rapid suspension carried out by FIFA, plus the rest of the proceedings opened against me, it is clear that I will not be able to return to my position.”
“Insisting on waiting and clinging ... is not going to contribute anything positive, neither to the Federation nor to Spanish football. Among other things, because there are de facto powers that will prevent my return,” the statement added.
Moreover, he said that he has also stepped down from his position as the vice president of European soccer body UEFA in the statement posted on X.