Luis Rubiales, the embattled President of the Spanish Football Federation, has resigned after widespread criticism for kissing Spain forward Jenni Hermoso after the 2023 Women’s World Cup final.
Hermoso, 33, stated that the kiss after Spain defeated England in Sydney was not consensual.
On Tuesday, she filed a legal complaint.
“I cannot continue my work,” Rubiales said on Sunday’s television show ‘Piers Morgan Uncensored’ as he announced his resignation.
He has also resigned as vice president of the Union of European Football Associations executive committee.
“I can’t return to the position after being suspended by FIFA and the other proceedings against me,” Rubiales said in a statement. “Insisting on waiting and holding out will not benefit the federation or Spanish football.”
He added that leading the RFEF for more than five years was an honour and did not want the situation to affect Spanish soccer. “I make this decision after assuring myself that my departure will contribute to the stability that will allow Europe and Africa to continue toward that dream of 2030, to allow us to bring the world’s largest event to us,” he said.
He addressed the controversy, saying, “I will do anything in my power to ensure that truth wins” for his family and others who have “suffered this unmeasured persecution, along with falsehoods.”
He finished by thanking the soccer federation and everyone involved in the game with a “strong hug.”
Rubiales’ resignation is the logical conclusion to a lengthy saga that has overshadowed Spain’s historic first women’s World Cup victory. Rubiales grabbed Hermoso, kissed her cheeks, and then kissed her lips after Spain defeated England 1-0 during the medal’s ceremony.
Later, Hermoso and her teammates could be heard discussing the kiss and expressing their displeasure in an Instagram Live video. Hermoso herself stated, “Hey, but I didn’t like that.”