West News Wire: Luis Rubiales, head of the Spanish Football Federation, has announced that he will step down following reports that he kissed a member of the Women’s World Cup team inexplicably last month.
In a statement released on Sunday, Rubiales stated that his position had become untenable. The Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) later confirmed that Rubiales had handed a letter of resignation to acting president Pedro Rocha.
Rubiales was accused of sexual assault and coercion last week after a Spanish prosecutor complained to the High Court about his kiss on Jenni Hermoso’s lips.
Rubiales had also been suspended for three months from all football activities by FIFA, pending an investigation by football’s world governing body into his actions after Spain clinched their World Cup victory in Sydney on August 20.
“After the rapid suspension carried out by FIFA, plus the rest of the proceedings opened against me, it is clear that I will not be able to return to my position,” Rubiales said in his statement.
“Insisting on waiting and clinging is not going to contribute anything positive, neither to the Federation nor to Spanish football. Among other things, because there are de facto powers that will prevent my return,” he added.
The primary players union in Spain is led by former footballer Rubiales, 46, who has been in charge of the organisation since 2018. He claimed to have resigned from his position as vice president of UEFA, the governing body of European football.
Rubiales has maintained that the kiss was consensual, but the situation has infuriated many people in Spanish culture as well as players.
He continued to argue for his account of what had happened.
I believe in the truth, and I will exert all of my efforts to see that it triumphs, he declared.
Following the departure of Rubiales, Spain’s acting labour minister Yolanda Diaz wrote on X on Sunday, “The feminist country is advancing faster and faster.” Life must change and get better, that much is certain. We are with you, Jenni, and with all women.”