Luis Rubiales refuses to resign as RFEF president after case of forced kiss

Luis Rubiales

The president of the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF)Luis Rubiales, harassed by criticism for his forced kiss to the player Jenni Hermoso in the World Cup final, refused this Friday to resign in an extraordinary assembly of the federation.

“I am not going to resign, I am not going to resign,” Rubiales repeated in the Assembly, defying the multiple requests of the last days.

The president of the RFEF asked for “unmitigated forgiveness” for his behavior in the box of authorities in the World Cup final that Spain won and admitted having been “wrong” in his subsequent kiss to Hermoso, but described it as “spontaneous, mutual, euphoric and consented.”

“This is the key, it was consented to,” Rubiales said, before assuring that “a social murder is being carried out. They are trying to kill me.”

The federal president surprised on Sunday at the World Cup medal ceremony by holding Jennifer Hermoso’s head and kissing her on the mouth after Spain won the final against England 1-0.

The images went around the world along with those of his gestures in the box clutching his genitals, a few meters from Queen Letizia.

A controversial “peak” 

“Is a spoiled pick to get me out of here?” Rubiales wondered, assuring that he is going to defend himself.

Rubiales, president of the RFEF since 2018, attacked “the false feminism that does not seek the truth” and pointed to three ministers of the Spanish government, including the number three of the executive, Yolanda Díaz, who had been one of the first to demand his resignation.

“These people who are trying to assassinate me publicly, I am going to defend myself,” said Rubiales, who also attacked Javier Tebas, the president of La Liga, with whom he has had disagreements for years.

The 46-year-old president of the RFEF was surprised with his decision to resist when his departure was taken for granted after the criticism that had been accumulating throughout the week from all social spheres, especially football and politics.

Unions of soccer players, coaches, teams or players criticized what happened, even FIFA opened a disciplinary procedure against Rubiales, while UEFA, of which he is one of its vice presidents, remains silent.

The acting head of the Spanish government, Pedro Sánchez, and his Minister of Culture and Sports, Miquel Iceta, censured Rubiales’ gesture, asking that it go beyond a simple apology that many saw as too forced.

“I understand the commotion so big that it has formed, I have already lost forgiveness for the gesture (in the box of authorities) that seems very unfortunate to me, and the matter of the kiss that I have already said is free, it is mutual, consented, but I have to apologize for the context in which it occurred, I’m not out of the world and I know I was wrong,” Rubiales reiterated this Friday.

Complaints to the TAD 

The pressure on the president of the RFEF had been increasing since the beginning of the week and up to three were presented to the CSD, which plans to send them to the Administrative Court of Sport (TAD).

Jenni Hermoso herself, made it known on Wednesday through her union, Futpro, her desire that “exemplary measures” be taken against Rubiales, who this Friday said she did not understand how the player had gone “from anecdote to silence and to a statement that I just don’t understand.”

“Today I can announce that we are going to take a complaint for a very serious misconduct to the TAD,” the president of the CSD Víctor Francos told Cadena Ser this Friday, declaring himself “surprised” by Rubiales’ decision.

In criminal proceedings, the Madrid prosecutor’s office has sent a complaint for “an alleged crime of sexual assault” to the National Court, the main criminal instance, which must study whether to admit it for processing.

“What we have seen today in the Federation Assembly is unacceptable. The Government must act and take urgent measures,” said Vice President Díaz this Friday on the social network X (ex-Twitter).

“Impunity for macho actions is over. Rubiales cannot continue in office,” Díaz added.

“Other people’s shame”, wrote on his social networks the exporter of the Spanish team, Iker Casillas, who withdrew from the race in the last federative elections won by Rubiales in 2020.

“This is unacceptable. It’s over. With you, partner Jenni Hermoso”, reacted the two-time Ballon d’Or, Alexia Putellas, on social networks.

For his part, Betis striker Borja Iglesias decided “not to return to the National Team until things change and this type of act does not go unpunished.”