Sunday marked the day that Luis Rubiales, the head of the Spanish Football Federation, resigned from his position in the wake of the crisis that was sparked by his kiss on the lips of a Women’s World Cup player.
The already-suspended head said in an open letter that he has submitted his resignation to the federation’s temporary president. He also provided an explanation for his decision to finally stand down in an interview with a television station.
Rubiales stated on the television show “Piers Morgan Uncensored” that she would be stepping down from her position because she was unable to continue working.
“(Family and friends) tell me, ‘Luis, you need to concentrate on maintaining your dignity and moving on with your life.'” If you don’t change your ways, you’re going to hurt the people and the sport that you care about.'”
Rubiales, 46, triggered a reaction around the world for forcibly kissing player Jenni Hermoso during the medal ceremony following Spain’s World Cup victory in Sydney on August 20. The incident occurred after Spain won the tournament.
After he refused to quit, FIFA issued a provisional suspension against him for ninety days, and earlier this week, public prosecutors in Spain filed a lawsuit against him for sexual assault and coercion.
On Tuesday, Hermoso, who is 33 years old, submitted a case to the National Court in which she accused Rubiales of engaging in sexual assault.
In a letter to the public that Rubiales issued late on Sunday night, he stated that he had told the federation that he was also stepping down from his position as a vice-president of UEFA, the governing body of football in Europe.
“After the swift suspension carried out 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,” Rubiales stated in the letter. “After all, it is obvious that I will not be able to return to my position.”
“Refusing to give up the waiting game and clinging to it will not contribute to anything positive, neither for the federation nor for Spanish football,” the player said.
“Among other reasons, because there are authorities who will do everything in their power to prevent my return.”
Rubiales, who claims that the kiss was voluntary, stated that he did not want Spanish football to be harmed by “such a disproportionate campaign” against him. Rubiales was referring to the controversy surrounding the kiss.
According to what he wrote, “I have faith in the truth, and I will do everything in my power to ensure that it prevails.”
Rubiales stated that his resignation will bring “stability” to Spain’s quest for the men’s World Cup in 2030, in which they are participating.
In order to voice her disapproval of the way her son was being treated, the chief’s mother, Angeles Bejar, began a hunger strike on August 28 while sequestered in a church.
On the other hand, two days later she was admitted to the hospital because she was experiencing some sort of illness.
“My daughters, my family, and the people who love me have suffered from the effects of excessive persecution, as well as many falsehoods,” stated Rubiales in his letter. “My daughters, my family, and the people who love me have suffered from the effects of excessive persecution.”
“However, it is also true that, out on the streets, the truth is winning more and more ground each and every day.”
Rubiales’ decision was met with an immediate reaction from Spanish politicians.
Second Deputy Prime Minister Yolanda Diaz made these comments on the social media network X, which was formerly known as Twitter. “The feminist country is advancing faster and faster,” she stated.
It is inevitable that the changes and improvements in our life will take place. We stand in solidarity with you, Jenni, and all other women.
Irene Montero, the equality minister of Spain, scribbled “It’s Over” on X. This phrase was utilized by Hermoso and her fellow players as a form of protest against Rubiales.
After Rubiales’ fiery defence speech following the incident, in which he railed against “false feminism” and stated he would not step down as head coach, more than 80 players on the women’s side went on strike in protest. Rubiales’ speech prompted the players’ actions.
The players have stated that they would not return until there has been a change in the leadership of the RFEF (Spanish Football Federation), which took place on Tuesday when controversial women’s coach Jorge Vilda was fired.
Under Pedro Rocha’s leadership as interim president of the RFEF, an apology was issued for what was described as Rubiales’ “completely unacceptable behavior.”
It is the first time that a woman has been in charge of the team, and the new coach is Montserrat Tome, who worked as Vilda’s assistant previously.
On September 22 and September 26, respectively, the Spanish women’s national team is scheduled to compete in Nations League matches against Sweden and Switzerland.
In the meantime, the case brought against Rubiales by Spanish prosecutors will be examined by a judge from Spain’s National Court.
If the request is granted by the judge, a magistrate will be appointed to lead the investigation, and at the conclusion of the inquiry, the magistrate will either make a recommendation that the case proceed to trial or that it be dismissed.
Hermoso, who plays for the Mexican club Pachuca, stated in a statement that she felt “vulnerable and like the victim of an assault” after the unwelcome kiss. The post on social media described the kiss as “an impulsive, macho act, out of place and with no type of consent on my part.” Hermoso said the kiss had left her feeling “vulnerable and like the victim of an assault.”
She has also accused Rubiales of pressuring her to speak out in his defense soon after the issue over the kiss arose. This is something that prosecutors have suggested might be considered a crime of coercion. She has accused Rubiales of doing this.