El expresidente de la Federación Española de Fútbol, Luis Rubiales, en una foto de archivo. EFE/JJ Guillén

Luis Rubiales resigns as Spanish football chief after world cup kiss scandal

Madrid, Sep 10 (EFE).- Luis Rubiales stepped down as Spanish football chief on Sunday following controversy surrounding his kiss on Spain forward Jenni Hermoso during the presentation ceremony after Spain’s victory in the 2023 Women’s World Cup.

FIFA had suspended Rubiales for 90 days as president of the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF).

In a statement published on his X (formerly Twitter) account on Sunday, Rubiales announced that he had informed the RFEF’s interim president, Pedro Rocha, of his “resignation” and that he had also done the same with his position as vice-president of UEFA.

The executive said that in view of the “swift provisional suspension” by FIFA and the other proceedings against him, he understood that it was “clear” that he would not be able to return to his position, so “insisting” on staying on and clinging to the position “will not contribute to anything positive”, either for the RFEF itself “or for Spanish football”.

Rubiales said he was sure that his departure would bring the necessary “stability” to allow Spain, Portugal and Morocco’s bid for the 2030 World Cup to succeed.

He claimed there were “de facto forces” that would “prevent” his return and said he did not want Spanish football to be “damaged” by what he considered a “disproportionate campaign”.

“I believe in the truth and I will do everything in my power to make it prevail,” Rubiales said, adding that his daughters, family and loved ones “have suffered the effects of excessive persecution, as well as many falsehoods, but it is also true that in the streets, more and more every day, the truth prevails”.

In addition to this statement, Rubiales also announced his resignation in an interview with British journalist Piers Morgan on his show “Piers Morgan Uncensored,” in which he said he could not continue his work.

After Morgan asked him about calls for him to resign, Rubiales replied, “About my resignation: yes I’m going to, because I cannot continue my work.”

“Some friends very close to me have said ‘Luis, you have to focus on your dignity and to continue your life, becasue if you don’t you are going to damage, probably, people you love, the sport you love’,” he said.

The events have caused many negative reactions in Spain and around the world, and even the Public Prosecutor’s Office has filed a complaint against him for crimes of sexual assault and coercion in relation to the kiss he gave to Jenni Hermoso..

EFE jap-omm/ics