Spanish Football Federation chief Luis Rubiales, engulfed in a scandal over allegations he gave an unsolicited kiss to a player on the Women’s World Cup team last month, says he will resign from his position as president.
Rubiales announced his resignation in a statement on Sunday in which he said his position had become untenable, with the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) later confirming he had sent a resignation letter to acting president Pedro Rocha.
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A Spanish prosecutor filed a complaint with the High Court against Rubiales last week for sexual assault and coercion over his kiss on the lips of Jenni Hermoso.
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.
Rubiales, 46, is a former player and head of Spain’s main players union, having run the federation since 2018. He said he had also stepped down as vice president of the European football body UEFA.
Rubiales has insisted the kiss was consensual but the case has sparked outrage among players and many in wider Spanish society.
He appeared to continue to defend his version of events.
“I have faith in the truth and I am going to do everything in my power to make it prevail,” he said.
“The feminist country is advancing faster and faster,” Spain’s acting Labour Minister Yolanda Diaz posted on X on Sunday after news of Rubiales’s resignation. “The transformation and improvement of our lives is inevitable. We are with you, Jenni, and with all women.”