Luis Rubiales Steps Down as President of Spanish FA Following Controversial Jenni Hermoso Kiss


Luis Rubiales has resigned from his position as the President of the Spanish Football Federation amid controversy stemming from an incident during the Women’s World Cup final presentation ceremony.

Criticism arose when he kissed Jenni Hermoso, a Spanish forward, following their victory over England. Hermoso alleged that the kiss was non-consensual and subsequently filed a complaint.

Rubiales formalized his resignation through a statement submitted to Pedro Rocha, the acting federation president. During an interview on Piers Morgan’s television show, he explained his decision, stating, “I cannot continue in my role.” Additionally, Rubiales resigned from his position as the vice president of UEFA’s executive committee.

The aftermath of this incident has overshadowed Spain’s World Cup triumph and has become a prominent topic in Spanish football in recent weeks. Despite calls for his resignation, Rubiales had previously ignored them. A prosecutor lodged a complaint with Spain’s court against Rubiales for assault and coercion following Hermoso’s testimony. While Rubiales maintained that the kiss was mutual and consensual, he had been temporarily suspended by FIFA.

In his resignation statement, Rubiales expressed hope that stepping down would benefit Spain’s bid with Morocco and Portugal to host the 2030 World Cup. He also affirmed his belief in justice prevailing and expressed determination to move forward.

Despite this, his position was weakened when 81 players from Spain, including all 23 World Cup champions, publicly announced their refusal to represent the team as long as Rubiales remained in power.

Amid the scandal, World Cup-winning manager Jorge Vilda, who was considered a close ally of Rubiales, was sacked, and Montse Tome was appointed as his successor. Various politicians, footballers, celebrities, and protesters had called for Rubiales’ resignation, and the feminist movement in Spain showed strong support for Jenni Hermoso.

Rubiales revealed that his decision to resign was influenced by conversations with his family and close friends who advised him to protect his dignity and the well-being of those he loved. He emphasized that the situation had broader implications and could affect important third parties.

The complaint against Rubiales now rests with the high court, which will decide whether to bring formal charges against him. If charges are accepted, an investigation will be led by a magistrate, potentially leading to a trial. Under Spanish law, sexual assault charges can result in penalties ranging from fines to imprisonment.

The incident initially caught the attention of Spanish prosecutors on August 28, and Spain’s national sports tribunal (TAD) opened a misconduct case against Rubiales, classifying his actions as a “serious offense” rather than the “very serious offense” that the government had requested, thus avoiding his suspension.


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