Spanish soccer president resigns after unwanted kiss

Luis Rubiales announced that he has resigned from his position as the president of the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) after receiving backlash for kissing a star player on the lips without her consent during the team’s World Cup ceremony.

“Today, I notified the interim president at 930 pm, Mr. Pedro Rocha, that I have resigned as President of RFEF,” Rubiales said Sunday in a post on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, also sharing that he resigned from his position as vice president of the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA). 

“I have also informed him that I have done the same with my position at UEFA, so that a replacement for my role as vice president can be sought,” Rubiales said. “After the suspension by FIFA, in addition to the rest of the proceedings against me, it is clear that I will not be able to return to my position.”

Rubiales also said that the reason he stepped down from his position was in an effort to not risk RFEF and Spain’s bid to host the World Cup in 2030, adding that now he’ll spend time defending his name against “excessive persecution.”

“I have faith in the truth and I will do everything when it’s in my hands so that it prevails,” he wrote. “My daughters, my family and the people that love me have suffered the effects of an excessive persecution, as well as many falsehoods, but it’s also true that in the street, every day more, the truth is being imposed.”

Rubiales’s resignation comes less than a month after he received massive criticism for his gesture toward Spain’s national team forward Jenni Hermoso. Rubiales planted an unwanted kiss on Hermoso during an awards ceremony after Spain defeated England to win the FIFA Women’s World Cup on Aug. 20. 

The aftermath from the incident saw FIFA, soccer’s governing body, suspend Rubiales as an investigation was launched in the matter. 

Recently, Spanish prosecutors filed a complaint against Rubiales, accusing him of sexual assault, just days after Hermoso herself filed a complaint against the former Spanish soccer head.

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