The Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) has confirmed the resignation of Luis Rubiales after three weeks of scandal over allegations he gave an unsolicited kiss to Jenni Hermoso, a player on the women’s national team as they celebrated their World Cup victory last month.
‘I’m going to [resign], yes, because I cannot continue my work,’ Rubiales had said in an interview on the television show ‘Piers Morgan Uncensored’ aired on Sunday (see clip below).
‘(Family and friends) say to me ‘Luis, you need to focus on your dignity and continue your life. If not you are going to damage people you love and the sport you love’.’
‘After my swift suspension by FIFA, and the rest of the cases building against me, it is clear that I cannot return to the post,’ Rubiales later said on Sunday in a statement posted on X (formerly Twitter).
He had already been temporarily suspended from his job by FIFA for his conduct at the final and, after football’s world body opened a disciplinary case, remained defiant and hostile toward those who criticised him.
Then came the most serious threat yet to Rubiales, when Spanish state prosecutors accused him on Friday of sexual assault and coercion after the kiss, two days after Hermoso formally accused him of sexual assault. ALSO READ: Jenni Hermoso files criminal complaint against Luis Rubiales for World Cup kiss.
Once the most powerful man in Spanish football, Rubiales insisted the kiss was consensual and done in a ‘moment of jubilation’. He said it was like one ‘I could give one of my daughters’.
Hermoso denied that claim in statements issued by her and her players’ union. The player also said she and her family were pressured by the federation to show her support for Rubiales. Fans, players and politicians publicly disagreed with Rubiales and saw it as a sexist act and the abuse of authority.
Rubiales said he had also resigned as UEFA vice president due to the reputational danger the scandal could inflict on Spain’s joint bid to host the 2030 men’s World Cup along with Portugal, Morocco and possibly Ukraine.
He said that he had told interim Spanish federation president Pedro Rocha — who replaced him when Rubiales was suspended on 26 August — of his resignation late on Sunday night. The Spanish federation confirmed Rubiales’ resignation in a statement, adding that it would follow its statutes and call an election for a new president.
BREAKING: Luis Rubiales has sensationally resigned as President of the Royal Spanish Football Federation following the scandal over him kissing Spain’s Jenni Hermoso at the Women’s World Cup Final. He revealed the news in a world exclusive interview for @PiersUncensored pic.twitter.com/Kl2uQTOzqv— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) September 10, 2023