Disgraced Spanish football figure Luis Rubiales has confirmed he has resigned from his post as the president of the country’s football federation following his behaviour at the Women’s World Cup final
Luis Rubiales has announced he has stepped down from his role as the president of the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) after kissing Jenni Hermoso following the Women’s World Cup final.
The former Spain FA chief confirmed the news during a sit-down interview with Talk TV’s Piers Morgan. His conduct sparked huge backlash among the footballing world and general public and he admits the fallout has since made his role untenable.
Pressed for comment on whether he would resign by Morgan, Rubiales conceded: “I am going to – of course I cannot continue my work.” He later added that he was helped to come to his decision by consulting his father and daughters.
“They know it’s not a question about me,” he added. “Some friends very close to me said ‘Luis, now you have to focus on your dignity and continue your life – if not, you are probably going to damage people you love and the sport you love’. In this situation now, this is the thing that I have to do.”
At the time of his interview airing, Rubiales tweeted out a link to an official statement, along with the words: “I will defend my honorability. I will defend my innocence. I have faith in the future. I have faith in the truth. Thank you all.”
His statement read: ”I have presented my resignation from the position of president of the RFEF. I have also informed you that I have done the same with my position at UEFA so that my position in the Vice Presidency can be replaced.
After the quick suspension carried out by FIFA, plus the rest of open proceedings against me, it is evident that I will be able to return to my position. Insisting on waiting and holding on is not going to contribute to anything positive, neither to the Federation nor to Spanish football.”
Rubiales added he did not “want Spanish football to be harmed” as they prepare to launch a bid to host the 2030 World Cup, while he thanked all those who have supported him.
“I must look forward, look to the future,” he wrote. “Now there is something that concerns me firmly. I have faith in the truth and I will do everything be in my power to prevail.
“My daughters, my family and the people who love me have suffered the effects of persecution excessive, as well as many falsehoods, but it is also true that on the street, more and more every day, the truth is prevailing.”
Spain’s women’s football team had made clear that they would refuse to play any further matches for their country until Rubiales had been removed from his post as president.
Hermoso has lodged an official complaint of sexual assault against Rubiales to the Spanish prosecutors office. It marks the first formal complaint from the player since the kiss last month.
The footballer has said the kiss left her feeling vulnerable and a victim of aggression. She has described it as “an impulsive, sexist act, out of place and without any type of consent on my part.”
As for Rubiales, his resignation marks a huge U-turn from his comments just over a fortnight ago when he claimed: “I will not resign. Did you really think a peck would bring me down?”
In the aftermath of the kiss, he told the media: “The spontaneity and happiness of the historic moment led us to carry out a mutual and consensual act, a product of great enthusiasm. At no time was there any aggression, indeed, there was not even the slightest discomfort, but an overflowing joy in both of us.”
Rubiales has also stepped down from his post as a UEFA vice-president In a statement of his own, he added: “It is clear that I will not be able to return to my position. I do not want Spanish football to be harmed by this entirely disproportionate campaign.”
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