Luis Rubiales Refuses to Resign as FA President Amid Controversy Over World Cup Final Gesture
Luis Rubiales, the president of the Spanish football federation, has declined to step down following his actions at the Women’s World Cup final on Sunday.
Rubiales, aged 46, kissed forward Jenni Hermoso on the lips after Spain’s 1-0 victory over England. He was also seen grabbing his crotch during the celebration at the final whistle.
During an extraordinary general assembly convened by the federation, Rubiales stated, “I will not resign, I will not resign.” He described the situation as a “social assassination.”
Earlier, he had issued an apology for the kiss, and on Thursday, FIFA initiated disciplinary proceedings against him.
Rubiales has now apologized for his crotch-grabbing gesture while celebrating in the VIP area of Stadium Australia, where Queen Letizia of Spain and her 16-year-old daughter were present.
Despite expectations that he would announce his resignation, Rubiales declared, “I’m ready to be vilified to defend my ideals.” He stated, “I don’t deserve this manhunt I have been suffering.”
Rubiales asserted that the kiss was mutual and consensual, explaining, “Jenni was the one who lifted me up.” He also defended his actions as a spontaneous and consensual “peck.”
However, widespread reports indicated that Rubiales would step down, but he resolved to “fight until the end.”
Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez and Deputy Prime Minister Yolanda Diaz both called for Rubiales’ resignation, saying his initial apology was insufficient.
The players’ union Futpro, representing Hermoso, emphasized that the incident should not go unpunished. The 33-year-old forward later stated that she would “defend my interests” in the matter.
Several Spanish football clubs, including Barcelona and Sevilla, have also expressed criticism of Rubiales.
The situation has sparked strong reactions within the football community and from Spanish government officials, with calls for disciplinary action against Rubiales.