July 13, 2024

Spanish Football Federation Calls For Luis Rubiales To Resign After World Cup Kiss

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RFEF leaders released a statement in which they said Rubiales’ actions had “seriously damaged the image of Spanish football”.

FILE PHOTO: Luis Rubiales Hugs Salma Paralluelo At The Award Ceremony. PICTURE: David Gray/AFP

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MADRID: Luis Rubiales has been told to resign with immediate effect by Spain’s football federation, as Ellie Pitt reports from Madrid.

Spain’s football federation has called for the country’s FA president Luis Rubiales to resign after he kissed Jenni Hermoso at the Women’s World Cup final.

It comes after an emergency meeting was held by regional leaders of the RFEF, who called Rubiales’ behaviour “unacceptable” and requested he step down immediately.

Volker Türk, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, has said the incident should mark “a turning point” as women in sport “continue to face sexual harassment and abuse,” adding a hashtag translating to “It’s over”.

In other developments on Monday, prosecutors opened a preliminary investigation into Rubiales on the grounds the kiss at the final could constitute an offence of “sexual assault”.

Prosecutors said Hermoso, who denied the kiss was consensual, will be contacted and offered the chance to file a suit – which she would need to do within 15 days.

After the meeting on Monday, RFEF leaders released a statement in which they said Rubiales’ actions had “seriously damaged the image of Spanish football”.

The meeting took place as hundreds of people, including many from feminist groups, gathered in the centre of Madrid in support of Hermoso.

Rubiales was suspended from his post by FIFA on Saturday, pending an investigation into his conduct at the Women’s World Cup final in Sydney on August 20.

The 46-year-old grabbed his crotch in the stadium’s VIP area in celebration of Spain’s win over England, when he was stood metres away from Spain’s Queen Letizia and her teenage daughter.

He then kissed Spain midfielder Jenni Hermoso on the lips during the trophy and medals presentation, something she says was done without her consent.

Rubiales’ mother, Angeles Bejar, has reportedly locked herself in a church and is refusing to eat in protest against the “inhuman hunt” against her son.

He refused to resign on Friday despite significant pressure to do so, claiming he had been the victim of a “social assassination”.

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