Luis Rubiales stepped down from his role as president of the Spanish soccer federation and vice president of UEFA following intense criticism over his unwanted kiss with FIFA Women’s World Cup champion Jennifer Hermoso.
New Delhi, Sep 11: Luis Rubiales stepped down from his role as president of the Spanish soccer federation and vice president of UEFA following intense criticism over his unwanted kiss with FIFA Women’s World Cup champion Jennifer Hermoso.
“Today, at 9:30 PM, I have submitted my resignation from the position of President of the RFEF (Royal Spanish Football Federation) to the Acting President, Mr Pedro Rocha. I have also informed him that I have taken the same step regarding my position at UEFA so that my role in the Vice Presidency can be replaced,” Rubiales said in his statement late on Sunday night.
“After the quick suspension carried out by Fifa along with the ongoing proceedings against me, it is evident that I will not be able to return to my position. Insisting on remaining in limbo and clinging to it will not contribute to anything positive, neither for the Federation nor for Spanish football,” he added
Rubiales said he hoped his departure would boost Spain’s joint bid with Morocco and Portugal to host the 2030 World Cup.
“I make this decision after ensuring that my departure will contribute to the stability that will allow both Europe and Africa to remain united in the dream of 2030, which will enable our country to host the world’s biggest event,” said Rubiales.
The Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) also confirmed that Rubiales has resigned 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. 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,” it said in a statement.
The 46-year-old 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.
Rubiales’ unwanted kiss on Hermoso after the Spanish team’s victory in the World Cup final on August 20 sparked criticism in Spain and across the world.
The 46-year-old had previously offered an apology and characterized the kiss as “mutual”, a statement contradicted by Hermoso, who asserted that she did not give consent and felt disrespected.
Following the controversy, 81 Spanish players, including all 23 World Cup winners, declared they would not represent the national team as long as Rubiales remained in his role.
Furthermore, World Cup-winning head coach Jorge Vilda also voiced criticism against Rubiales, and his entire coaching staff resigned in protest against the federation president.