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Spain’s Head Rubiales to Resign Following Inappropriate Kiss Involving Hermoso

Spain's Head Rubiales to Resign Following Inappropriate Kiss Involving HermosoSpain's Head Rubiales to Resign Following Inappropriate Kiss Involving Hermoso

Spain’s Head Rubiales to Resign Following Inappropriate Kiss Involving Hermoso

Publish – 25 aug , 2023

Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) President Luis Rubiales is set to announce his resignation on Friday following FIFA’s initiation of disciplinary measures against him in light of his inappropriate kiss planted on player Jenni Hermoso, according to sources cited by ESPN’s Rodrigo Faez.

Rubiales’ position has steadily eroded since his actions subsequent to Spain’s victory over England in the World Cup final held in Sydney last Sunday.

While the focal point remains the unsolicited kiss bestowed upon Hermoso’s lips, it’s noteworthy that he also fervently embraced other members of the Spanish team, bestowing cheek kisses upon them.

Furthermore, immediately after Spain’s triumph, he engaged in a celebratory gesture involving his crotch in the presence of 16-year-old Princess Infanta Sofía and Queen Letizia of Spain.

Initially, Rubiales retorted by branding those who criticized his conduct as “foolish”; however, as opposition escalated, he subsequently issued an apology.

The incident has incited strong reactions both within Spain and abroad, prompting numerous figures, including government officials, to call for his resignation.

Acting Prime Minister of Spain, Pedro Sánchez, deemed the apology “inadequate and insufficient,” intensifying the pressure on Rubiales to step down. Acting Second Deputy Prime Minister, Yolanda Díaz, joined in by asserting that Rubiales should “cede” his position due to his actions.

Prominent figures from the government and the realm of Spanish sports echoed these sentiments. Equality Minister Irene Montero categorized the incident as a manifestation of “sexual violence,” while various clubs also added their perspectives to the unfolding situation.

The week’s tension further escalated as FIFA instigated disciplinary proceedings against Rubiales, a move complemented by Hermoso and her union’s joint declaration that such transgressions “must never go without consequences.

Spain's Head Rubiales to Resign Following Inappropriate Kiss Involving Hermoso
Spain defender Rocio Galvez is congratulated by President of the Royal Spanish Football Federation, Luis Rubiales, after Spain won Women’s World Cup. — AFP

Spain’s Head Rubiales to Resign Following Inappropriate Kiss Involving Hermoso

Sant Andreu, a team from the lower-tier leagues, became the initial group to call for Rubiales’ departure through an official statement. Meanwhile, Ángel Torres, the president of LaLiga club Getafe, strongly criticized Rubiales’ actions, labeling them as “unacceptable conduct” and asserting that he should step down from his role as the president of RFEF without any further delay.

On the global stage, Rubiales’ conduct garnered disapproval from Megan Rapinoe, the American forward. Rapinoe remarked that the incident underscores a “profound manifestation of misogyny and sexism within that federation and the individual in question.

In Madrid on Thursday, regional leaders of the RFEF convened for an emergency meeting to deliberate on the future of Rubiales and explore potential alternatives for a prospective successor, an insider shared with Reuters.

According to information from the same source, the individuals most strongly considered to take over from Rubiales are Pedro Rocha, who leads the Extremadura football federation, and Pablo Lozano, at the helm of the Andalusia federation.

Rubiales, aged 46, ascended to the presidency in 2018, a term marked by both turmoil and pivotal decisions. In the initial months of his tenure, he dismissed Julen Lopetegui, the Spain coach, just on the cusp of the World Cup, subsequent to revelations of a pre-existing agreement for Lopetegui to join Real Madrid after the tournament.

Rubiales additionally encountered backlash for orchestrating the relocation of the Spanish Super Cup to Saudi Arabia, an endeavor carried out in collaboration with Gerard Piqué. Piqué was actively representing Barcelona at the time. Rubiales vehemently rejected any assertions of a conflict of interest within this arrangement.

Moreover, allegations emerged, originating from his own uncle and the previous director of his team, asserting that he misused RFEF funds to arrange illicit gatherings. An ongoing investigation is probing allegations that he employed federation finances to finance a trip to New York with a woman.

Concurrently, the Spanish Footballers Association (AFE) advocated for his removal from the position, citing allegations of surveillance against the association’s president, David Aganzo. Rubiales refuted these claims.

In September of the previous year, the RFEF encountered a severe crisis when 15 players from the women’s national team articulated their discomfort in representing Spain. This discomfort was attributed to a dearth of support from the federation and issues related to the coaching staff. Rubiales’ response was to stand by the coach, Jorge Vilda, although the discord disrupted Spain’s preparations for the World Cup. Ultimately, three out of the 15 players participated in the tournament following specific alterations, seven declined, and five were not selected.

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