Luis Rubiales on Sunday resigned from his position as president of the Spanish soccer federation following weeks of fierce criticism over his unwanted kiss with Women’s World Cup winner Jennifer Hermoso, APA reports citing CNN.
“Today, I notified the interim president at 930 pm, Mr. Pedro Rocha, that I have resigned as President of RFEF,” Rubiales said in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter. “I have also let him know that I have also resigned my position in UEFA so that my Vice-presidency position can be filled.”
“To insist on waiting around,” he continued, “and holding onto that won’t contribute anything positive, neither to the Federation nor to Spanish football. Among other things, because the powers that be will prevent my return.”
The Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) confirmed that Rubiales had presented his resignation as chief of the Spanish football association as well as vice president of UEFA.
“The Royal Spanish Football Federation confirms that Luis M. Rubiales Béjar has presented his resignation tonight,” RFEF said in a statement. “This has been made known to the federative entity through a letter to Pedro Rocha Junco. In addition, he also resigns from his position as vice president of UEFA.”
The federation’s board of directors will now call an election to find a a successor.
Rubiales vowed to clear his name against what he called “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’ unwanted kiss on Hermoso after the Spanish team’s victory in the Women’s World Cup final on August 20 sparked condemnation in Spain and across the world. The 46-year-old previously apologized and described the kiss as “mutual” – a claim Hermoso denied, saying she did not consent and was not respected.
The Spaniard was provisionally suspended by global governing body FIFA for 90 days while a disciplinary investigation takes place. Pedro Rocha stepped into the role in the interim.
On Sunday, Spanish authorities were quick to react to Rubiales’ resignation.
The Spanish minister of equality, Irene Montero, reacted on X with two words: “It’s over.”
Yolanda Diaz, Spain’s second deputy prime minister, also wrote on the platform, “The feminist country is advancing faster and faster. The transformation and improvement of our lives is inevitable. We are with you, Jenni, and with all women.”
Hours after Rubiales’ announcement, Hermoso appeared in Mexico as the team she plays for, CF Pachuca Femanil, honored the star in her first match since the World Cup victory.
She was greeted by the crowd with a rousing ovation ahead of the game, with a huge mural of her hanging in the stadium. Hermoso then put the World Cup medal around her neck and waved to the crowd.