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Luis Rubiales Resigns as Spanish Soccer Federation President after Word Cup Kiss controversy

Luis Rubiales Resigns as Spanish Soccer Federation President after Word Cup Kiss controversy

Luis Rubiales Resigned: Spanish Soccer Chief’s Controversial Exit:

Luis Rubiales, who was the head of the Spanish soccer federation, has decided to step down from his role due to ongoing criticism. This criticism stemmed from an incident where he kissed Jennifer Hermoso, a Women’s World Cup winner, without her consent.

In a message posted on a platform similar to Twitter, Rubiales stated, “Today, I informed Mr. Pedro Rocha, the interim president, at 9:30 pm that I am resigning as President of RFEF. I have also resigned from my position in UEFA to allow my Vice-presidency to be filled.”

Rubiales explained that he believed it was best to resign rather than prolong the controversy, and he mentioned that returning to his position would be challenging due to opposition from higher authorities.

The Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) confirmed Rubiales’ resignation as both the head of the Spanish football association and as vice president of UEFA. They also announced plans to hold an election to find his replacement.

Rubiales expressed his commitment to clearing his name amid what he referred to as “excessive persecution.” He stated, “I have faith in the truth, and I will do everything in my power to ensure it prevails. My family, my daughters, and those who care about me have endured unfounded accusations, but I can see that the truth is gaining support day by day.”

The controversy arose when Rubiales kissed Jennifer Hermoso following the Spanish team’s victory in the Women’s World Cup final on August 20. This incident led to widespread condemnation both in Spain and around the world. Hermoso denied that the kiss was mutual and stated that she did not give her consent.

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FIFA provisionally suspended Rubiales for 90 days pending a disciplinary investigation. In the meantime, Pedro Rocha assumed the interim presidency.

Spanish authorities, including the Minister of Equality Irene Montero and Spain’s second deputy prime minister Yolanda Díaz, reacted swiftly to Rubiales’ resignation, expressing support for Hermoso and the advancement of women’s rights.

Jennifer Hermoso, in her first match since the World Cup victory, received a warm welcome from fans in Mexico. She was honored by her team, CF Pachuca Femenil, and the crowd, with a mural of her in the stadium. Hermoso also wore her World Cup medal and acknowledged the audience.

The controversy involving Rubiales triggered a crisis in Spanish soccer. The government and the RFEF took action, including the removal of World Cup-winning manager Jorge Vilda from his position due to inappropriate behavior during the Women’s World Cup Final. Montse Tomé became the first woman in Spanish national team history to assume this role.

The incident and Rubiales’ defense of it prompted strong reactions from various segments of Spanish society, highlighting concerns about “macho culture” in Spain. The coaches of Spain’s women’s team resigned collectively, and over 80 Spanish soccer players expressed support for Hermoso and demanded leadership changes within the national team.

Despite initial resistance from Rubiales, his position became untenable as players resigned and criticism mounted from the sports world and Spanish politicians. All 23 members of Spain’s World Cup-winning squad, along with other female soccer players, declared they would not play for the national team until Rubiales stepped down.

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The pressure escalated when all 19 regional presidents of Spain’s soccer federation called for Rubiales’ resignation after an emergency meeting. Additionally, Spanish prosecutors initiated an investigation into Rubiales for possible sexual assault and coercion charges following a complaint filed by Jennifer Hermoso. This legal process could lead to formal charges against him.

In protest against what she perceived as a harsh campaign against her son, Rubiales’ mother, Ángeles Béjar, embarked on a hunger strike in a church in the town of Motril near Grenada.

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