Spanish FA chief Rubiales resigns over Hermoso kiss
The football association chief of Spain has resigned after the barrage of criticism his non-consensual kiss with player Jenni Hermoso received.
Spanish Football Federation president Luis Rubiales has resigned as the head of the country's highest football body following paramount criticism for kissing Spain's forward, Jenni Hermoso, without her consent at the Women's World Cup final after the team won the championship.
Hermoso filed a legal complaint last Tuesday, sparking a cascade of events that ultimately led to Rubiales' resignation.
Rubiales issued a statement acknowledging the need to step down from his role as President, also relinquishing his role as vice-president of UEFA's executive committee. "I cannot continue my work," he said after spending weeks resisting calls to resign.
He added: "I have faith in the truth, and I will do everything in my power to 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," he said.
'I will not resign'
The 46-year-old had earlier maintained in an emotional statement before an emergency general meeting of Spain's football federation that he would not be driven out of his position by what he saw as a witch-hunt. "I will not resign," he stated unequivocally. "I will fight this to the end."
He described the recent events as "false feminism" and "social assassination," adding that they were "trying to kill" him.
The latest escalation saw a prosecutor filing a complaint with Spain's high court after Hermoso's Tuesday testimony, wherein she testified against Rubiales for sexual assault and coercion.
The now-former President previously claimed the kiss was "mutual" and "consensual", though his words did not mean much, as he was provisionally suspended by FIFA. He maintains that he had asked her if he might give her a peck. She nodded and said okay, according to him.
However, Hermoso stated on a live stream shortly after the kiss, which was administered on stage at the formal post-match ceremony, that she "didn't like it."
"After the quick suspension carried out by FIFA, plus the rest of open proceedings against me, it is evident that I will not be able to return to my position," Rubiales said in his statement. "Insisting on waiting and holding on is not going to contribute to anything positive, neither to the federation nor to Spanish football."
At least 81 Spanish players, including all 23 World Cup winners, said they would not play for the national team again so long as Rubiales was president amid heightened criticism from politicians, fellow footballers, and celebrities.