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Luis Rubiales resigns following scandal over him kissing Spanish player Jenni Hermoso

Luis Rubiales has told how he has resigned as president of the Spanish FA following the scandal over him kissing Spain’s Jenni Hermoso at the Women’s World Cup Final.

He has also stepped down from his vice-president position on the executive committee of Uefa, European football’s governing body.

Mr Rubiales revealed he planned to step down in an interview with Piers Morgan on his Talk TV show.

He told the presenter: “I cannot continue my work. About my resignation, yes I’m going to do (it).

He added: “My father, my daughters, I spoke with them. They know it’s not a question about me and some friend very close to me, they say to me: ‘Luis, you have to focus on your dignity and continue your life’.”

Shortly afterwards Mr Rubiales released a statement in which told how he is stepping down.

In his statement, the 46-year-old did not apologise for grabbing and kissing Hermoso during last month’s trophy ceremony in Sydney, and said that he and his family had been the victim of “excessive persecution and many falsehoods”.

Soccer Football - FIFA Women's World Cup Australia and New Zealand 2023 - Final - Spain v England - Stadium Australia, Sydney, Australia - August 20, 2023 Spain's Jennifer Hermoso celebrates with President of the Royal Spanish Football Federation Luis Rubiales after the match REUTERS/Hannah Mckay
Jennie Hermoso alleged she did not consent to being kissed by Luis Rubiales at the Women’s World Cup final (Photo: Hannah Mckay/Reuters)

He said: “I have faith in the truth and I am going to do everything in my hands to ensure it prevails.

“Today at 9:30 p.m. I transmitted to the acting President, Mr. Pedro Rocha, my resignation from the position of President of the RFEF.

“I have also informed you that I have done the same with my position at UEFA so that my position in the Vice Presidency can be replaced.

“After the rapid 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 anything positive, neither to the Federation nor to Spanish football. Among other things, because there are de facto powers that will prevent my return.

“There is the management of my team and, above all, the happiness that I have for the enormous privilege of these more than five years at the head of the RFEF.

“I do not want Spanish football to be harmed by this disproportionate campaign and, above all, I am making this decision after having made sure 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 allow the largest event in the world to be brought to our country.

“I must look forward, look to the future.

“Now there is something that occupies me firmly. I have faith in the truth and I will do everything in my power to make it prevail.

“My daughters, my family and the people who love me have suffered the effects of excessive persecution, as well as many falsehoods, but it is also true that on the street, more and more every day, the truth is prevailing.

“From here I convey a big hug to all the workers, assembly members, federations and football people in general, wishing them the best of luck.

“Thank you to everyone who has supported me during these times.”

Mr Rubiales also discussed his move in a tweet, alongside a photo of a Spanish flag, saying: “I will defend my honourability. I will defend my innocence.

“I have faith in the future. I have faith in the truth. Thanks to everybody.”

Mr Rubiales was also seen grabbing his crotch while standing near Spain’s Queen Letizia and her 16-year-old daughter.

His actions sparked worldwide condemnation and crisis in Spanish football, as well as a wider reckoning over gender politics in the country.

He was quickly suspended by Fifa for 90 days while the governing body investigated his conduct.

Mr Rubiales previously repeatedly refused to resign over the controversial incident and says the kiss was consensual – though the footballer says it was not.

In a defiant press conference just days after the kiss, he repeatedly insisted he would not resign and accused “false feminists” of conducting a smear campaign against him.

The speech was met with applause from many in the room including the Spanish women’s team manager Jorge Vilda, who was sacked last week less than a month after the team to World Cup victory.

Luis de la Fuente, the men’s team manager, was forced to apologise after he also applauded Mr Rubiales.

The scandal later took on the appearance of farce when Mr Rubiales’s mother briefly went on hunger strike in her local church in support of her son.

All 23 players of Spain’s World Cup winning squad were among 81 footballers who had refused to play again for the national team while Mr Rubiales was still in post. In a press conference last week, the men’s team condemned Mr Rubiales’ “unacceptable behavior”.

The Spanish prosecutor has filed a complaint against Mr Rubiales for sexual assault and coercion, after Hermoso submitted a legal complaint with the prosecutor’s office last week.

It is now up to the high court to present formal charges.

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