Embattled Spanish Football Federation President, Luis Rubiales, has finally resigned from his exalted position following a barrage of criticisms he received for kissing Jenni Hermoso on the lips at the just concluded 2023 Women’s World Cup victory ceremony last month.
Rubiales, who was suspended by Spanish football authorities and the world football governing body, FIFA sent his resignation in an open letter to the federation’s interim president.
He explained his decision to quit his position in a television interview and in his letter of resignation.
“I’m going to (resign), yes, because I cannot continue my work,” the 46-year-old told the television show “Piers Morgan Uncensored”.
“(Family and friends) say to me, ‘Luis, you need to focus on your dignity and continue your life. If not you are going to damage people you love and the sport you love.’”
In an open letter published by Rubiales late on the night of Sunday, 10 September 2023, he said he had informed the federation he was also stepping down as a vice-president of the European football governing body UEFA.
“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,” said Rubiales in the letter.
“Insisting on waiting and clinging to it is not going to contribute to anything positive, neither for the federation nor for Spanish football.
“Among other things, because there are powers that be that will prevent my return.”
Rubiales, who insists the kiss was consensual, said he did not want Spanish football to be hurt by “such a disproportionate campaign” against him.
“I have faith in the truth and I will do everything in my power so that it prevails,” he wrote.
Rubiales said his departure would contribute “stability” to the 2030 men’s World Cup bid in which Spain is involved.
As relentless criticism rained on him to quit his position, Rubiales’ mother Angeles Bejar went on a hunger strike in protest, locking herself in a church.
Recall that Rubiales received condemnation throughout the world after forcibly kissing midfielder Hermoso during the medal ceremony following Spain’s World Cup triumph in Sydney on 20 August 2023.
After he refused to resign, FIFA suspended him for three months, while Spanish public prosecutors have filed a lawsuit against him for alleged sexual assault and coercion.
That is not all as the woman at the centre of it all, Hermoso, 33, filed a complaint at the National Court last Tuesday, formally accusing Rubiales of sexual assault.
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