The president of the Spanish Football Federation, Luis Rubiales, suspended by FIFA for giving a forced kiss to Spanish international Jenni Hermoso, announced on Sunday that he would resign from his post. “About my resignation, yes, I will do it, yes, because I cannot continue my work,” he said in an interview with English television journalist Piers Morgan. Luis Rubiales added that those close to him told him “Luis, you need to worry about your dignity and move on with your life. Otherwise, you’re going to hurt the people you love and the sport you love.”
His resignation was notified at 9:30 p.m. to the interim president of the Federation, according to a letter signed by Rubiales and published by the Spanish media, exactly three weeks after the affair began. The Spanish Football Federation has confirmed. “He informed the federation in a letter addressed to Pedro Rocha Junco (interim president). He also resigned from his position as UEFA vice-president,” the RFEF said in a statement.
It will now begin a process to appoint Rubiales' replacement. “The former president of the RFEF did what he had to do, I think that is what all Spanish citizens asked of him,” commented the Secretary of State for Sports, Victor Francos, at the microphone of Radio Cadena Ser.
Rubiales, 48, sparked global outrage by surprisingly kissing the Spanish international on the mouth after the Spanish national team won the World Cup final on August 20 in Sydney. Suspended on August 26 by FIFA for a period of 90 days, he also risks being prosecuted for "sexual assault" by the Spanish courts, the prosecution having demanded his indictment on Friday.
On the social network also used to express their protest.
It's over ✊����
“The feminist country is moving faster and faster,” said Yolanda Diaz, second deputy prime minister of the Spanish government. “The transformation and improvement of our lives is inevitable. We are with you, Jenni, and with all women,” she added on X.
In his resignation letter, Rubiales says he acted with the aim of protecting Spanish football but again denies having attacked the 33-year-old international. “Following the rapid suspension of Fifa and the procedures opened against me, it is obvious that I will not be able to regain my position,” he wrote in this letter.
“I do not want Spanish football to suffer the damage from this disproportionate campaign” launched, according to him, against it, he said again. “I trust the truth and will do everything in my power to ensure it prevails,” he concludes.
Since a recent reform of the Spanish Penal Code, a non-consensual kiss can be considered sexual assault, a criminal category bringing together all types of sexual violence. Luis Rubiales, who claimed it was a "consented little kiss", had until then refused to resign and counterattacked on August 25 by castigating alleged "false feminism" and arguing that he had obtained the permission of the player before kissing her.
A version denied by Jenni Hermoso, who said she “felt vulnerable and victim (...) of an impulsive and sexist act, inappropriate and without any consent on (her) part”. This affair plunged Spanish football into chaos and overshadowed the world title of the women's national team.