Luis Rubiales has resigned as president of the Spanish Football Federation.
The 46-year-old came under fire for kissing Spain player Jenni Hermoso on the lips at the Women’s World Cup final last month.
Rubiales has been largely criticised for his actions at the World Cup finalTWITTER:@SHESCORESBANGERS
And he’s now stood down from his roleTalkTV
Hermoso said that the kiss during the presentation ceremony after Spain’s win over England was not consensual and has since filed a legal complaint against Rubiales.
Rubiales has now left his position, revealing the news in a world exclusive with Piers Morgan on TalkTV.
“I love my daughters so much and they love me so, so much. I am very happy and very proud of them. They are very near to me,” Rubiales said on Piers Morgan: Uncensored.
“About my resignation, yes, I am going to do [it]…”
Morgan responded: “You’re going to resign?”
Rubiales replied: “Yes, because I cannot continue in my work.”
“Yeah, my father, my daughters, I spoke with them and they know it’s not a question about me,” Rubiales continued.
“Some friends, very close to me, and they say to me, ‘Luis, now you have to focus on dignity and to continue your life because if not, probably, you are going to damage people you love, the sport you love…’”
Rubiales was elected RFEF president in May 2018AFP
“When someone is not thinking only about himself, because I had to support a lot in this three weeks, but this is more a question of not only me and being an attitude of me can affect third parties very importantly. In this situation now it is more intelligent and the thing I had to do,” Rubiales added.
Rubiales had already been provisionally banned from all football activity for an initial 90 days by FIFA while it investigates his conduct at the final.
He’s facing criminal charges in addition to the ongoing inquiry by Spain’s top sport court for ‘serious misconduct’ following Hermoso filing her complaint to the prosecutor’s office on Wednesday.
Rubiales could face a fine or prison sentence of one to four years if found guilty of sexual assault.
Prosecutors said on Friday that Rubiales could’ve committed an act of coercion when, according to Hermoso, he pressured her to speak out in his defence in the immediate aftermath of the incident.
The judge has also been asked by prosecutors for Rubiales to appear before a court at a preliminary testimony.
If the National Court judge agrees, it would lead to a formal court investigation that will end with a recommendation for the case to either be dismissed or go to trial.
Hermoso says she did not want to be kissed and that she felt ‘vulnerable and a victim of aggression’. The player also claims that she and her family were pressured by the federation to show support for Rubiales immediately after the incident.
The scandal has shook Spanish football and societyAFP
However, regional FA leaders called for Rubiales’ removal. Meanwhile, Pedro Rocha, the federation’s interim president, apologised this week for the ‘enormous damage’ caused by his predecessor’s actions and vowed a organisational restructure.
“The damage caused to Spanish football, to Spanish sport, to Spanish society and the values of football and sport as a whole have been enormous,” Rocha said in a letter.
“Mr Rubiales’ actions do not represent the values defended by the Spanish federation, nor the values of Spanish society as a whole.
“His actions must be attributed solely and exclusively to him, since he is the one solely responsible for those actions before society, before the sports governing bodies and, if applicable, before justice.
“To be clear, this position was that of Mr Rubiales, not that of the RFEF. We feel especially sorry and ashamed for the pain and additional distress this has caused.”
Rubiales also received criticism from a number of men’s players with Sevilla stars wearing t-shirts with the message: #SeAcabo [it’s over] a week after the incident.
Prior to Rubiales’ resignation the Spanish men’s football team released a statement condemning his behaviour.
“We want to reject what we consider to be unacceptable behaviour from Mr Rubiales, who has not lived up to the institution he represents,” it read.
“We firmly and unequivocally stand on the side of the values that this sport represents.
“Spanish football must be a driving force for respect, inspiration, inclusion, and diversity and must set an example with its behaviour both on and off the field.”
Hermoso, along with her 22 teammates, said she would not play for Spain until Rubiales left his post.
For the full interview, with more stunning revelations tune in to Piers Morgan Uncensored on Tuesday at 8pm.
Watch Piers Morgan Uncensored, Monday to Thursday on TalkTV at 8pm. Available on Sky 522, Sky Glass 508, Virgin Media 606, Freeview 237 and Freesat 217 as well as on DAB, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Samsung TV Plus, YouTube, the Talk.TV website and TalkTV iOS and Android apps.