Spanish FA president to resign after Jennifer Hermoso kissing

Luis Rubiales has resigned for kissing Jennifer Hermoso after Spain Women’s World Cup final win over England; FIFA had suspended the Spanish FA chief; Spain manager Jorge Vilda was fired on Tuesday after interim president Pedro Rocha said he was “ashamed” by Rubiales’ actions

Luis Rubiales has resigned as Spain’s FA president following the controversy over him kissing player Jenni Hermoso.

Rubiales kissed the midfielder on the lips during the trophy presentation following Spain’s victory over England in last month’s World Cup final, but Hermoso said the kiss was not consensual.

FIFA suspended Rubiales pending an investigation into his behavior, and Hermoso submitted a complaint to the national prosecutor’s office on Wednesday which is now with Spain’s high court.

Rubiales had remained defiant despite a public outcry, claiming the kiss was “mutual” and was adamant he would not quit his role.

But in an interview with Piers Morgan, Rubiales confirmed he will be stepping down, saying “Of course, I cannot continue my work”.

He released a statement saying he has submitted his resignation to the Spanish federation’s acting president, Pedro Rocha.

“I have presented my resignation from the position of president of the RFEF. After the suspension by FIFA, plus the rest of the procedures opened against me, it is evident that I will not be able to return to my position.”

Speaking to Morgan, Rubiales added: “My father, my daughters, I spoke with them…and some friends very close to me, and they say to me ‘Luis, now you have to focus on your dignity and to continue your life.’

“Because if you know probably you are going to damage people you love, and the sport you love…in this situation now, (it is) the thing I have to do.”

Luis Rubiales will resign as president of the Spanish FA
Luis Rubiales will resign as president of the Spanish FA

His resignation follows the sacking of Spain manager Jorge Vilda on Tuesday.

Rubiales was already provisionally barred from all football activity for an initial 90 days by FIFA while it investigated his conduct at the final.

Hermoso’s legal complaint means Rubiales could face criminal charges. According to a sexual consent law passed last year, he could face a fine or a prison sentence of one to four years if found guilty of sexual assault.

Prosecutors added on Friday that Rubiales could have committed an act of coercion when, according to Hermoso, he pressured her to speak out in his defense immediately after the scandal erupted regarding his behavior.

Prosecutors have also asked the judge that Rubiales appear before a court to give preliminary testimony.

If the National Court judge agrees the hear the case, it would lead to a formal court investigation that will end with a recommendation for the case to either be dismissed or go to trial.

Spanish football journalist Semra Hunter said:

“To be completely honest, I’m very surprised. I’m very shocked, also by the fact that the news was broken at 10 pm in Spain on a Sunday night.

“It goes hand in hand with all the various twists and turns that have been related to this story. The reason I’m surprised is that Rubiales has been adamant throughout the past three weeks that he would not resign.

“He claimed that he wanted to clear his name that he’s been the victim and that he’s innocent. He claimed that there was consent and that Jenni Hermoso had been lying.

“After the administrative courts in Spain turned around and said they weren’t going to suspend him, despite FIFA having suspended him for 90 days, he then doubled down on his position of defiance

“He came across that he was willing to fight until the very end so it is a bit of an interesting U-turn but it’s clear that those close to him got the message that he should maintain a bit of dignity by stopping doing any more damage than had already been caused. He’s done the right thing.”

The Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) has apologized for the “enormous damage” caused by the actions of Rubiales.

The acting president of the Spanish federation, Pedro Rocha, has written a letter distancing the organization from Rubiales’ actions, saying he is “ashamed” by them.

“The damage caused to Spanish football, to Spanish sport, to Spanish society and the values of football and sport as a whole have been enormous,” Rocha’s letter said.

“Mr Rubiales’ actions do not represent the values defended by the Spanish federation, nor the values of Spanish society as a whole.

“His actions must be attributed solely and exclusively to him, since he is the one solely responsible for those actions before society, before the sports governing bodies, and, if applicable, before justice.

“To be clear, this position was that of Mr Rubiales, not that of the RFEF. We feel especially sorry and ashamed for the pain and additional distress this has caused.”

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