Luis Rubiales resigns as president of Spanish FA

Luis Rubiales has confirmed his resignation as president of the Spanish football federation (RFEF). 

The 46-year-old was heavily criticised after he kissed Jenni Hermoso on the lips during the medal ceremony following Spain’s win over England in Sydney at the Women’s World Cup last month.

Hermoso said the kiss was not consensual but Rubiales insists that it was, and has maintained that he “would continue to defend his position to tell the truth”.

In an interview on Piers Morgan Uncensored, Rubiales confirmed that “he can’t continue” in his position. 

He said: “I am going to (resign) – of course I cannot continue my work.”

Rubiales explained that he made the decision after speaking with his father and daughters.

“They know it’s not a question about me,” he said. 

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

Rubiales later released a statement confirming his resignation from the RFEF and his role as UEFA vice president. On August 26, world football governing body FIFA imposed a provisional 90-day suspension on him. It meant he could no longer serve as RFEF president or fulfil his position with UEFA.

He added: “After the swift 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.

“Insisting on waiting and clinging to it is not going to contribute to anything positive, neither to the federation nor to Spanish soccer. Among other things, because there are factual powers that will prevent my return.

“There is the management of my team and, above all, the happiness that I take with me for the enormous privilege of these more than five years as the head of the RFEF.”

Rubiales said he hopes his resignation will boost Spain’s joint bid with Morocco and Portugal to host the 2030 World Cup.

On Friday, Spanish prosecutors filed a lawsuit against Rubiales for alleged sexual assault and coercion after his kiss on Hermoso.

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(Photo: Noemi Llamas/Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images)

Hermoso spoke to prosecutors on Tuesday after they indicated that they required her, as the injured party, to provide them with testimony if they were to proceed further.

The complaint was officially filed with the Audiencia Nacional (the Spanish national court) on Friday. The development means Rubiales could now face criminal charges.

In Spain, a sexual assault charge can be punishable with a prison term of between one and four years.

The lawsuit indicates that testimony from both Rubiales and Hermoso will be sought as well as information from Australian authorities in relation to the country’s own laws considering where the incident took place.

Rubiales is also under scrutiny by the Spanish government, as the Administrative Sports Court (TAD) has initiated its own investigation.

Earlier this week, the RFEF, who had initially defended Rubiales through statements, extended its “the most sincere apologies to the whole of world football.” However, they did not acknowledge or make any reference to Hermoso.

In August, Spain’s Women’s players said they would reject call-ups to the national team until the leadership of the Spanish FA had changed following the actions of Rubiales.

Rubiales had defiantly stood his ground since the incident with Hermoso, and said earlier this month that he endured a “media lynching”.

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