Spain's Soccer Chief Resigns Amidst World Cup Kiss Scandal

20:16 10.09.2023

Head of Spanish Soccer Federation Resigns Amidst Scandal over Unsolicited Kiss at Women's World Cup

Luis Rubiales, the embattled head of Spain's football federation, has announced his resignation following a scandal that erupted three weeks ago when he kissed Spain forward Jennifer Hermoso on the lips during the Women's World Cup final. The incident, caught on camera, sparked widespread condemnation and accusations of sexual assault against Rubiales.

Rubiales made the announcement in an exclusive interview on the British talk show "Piers Morgan Uncensored," hosted by television personality Piers Morgan. He cited the pressure he faced from his family and close friends as a contributing factor to his decision. Rubiales had already been suspended by FIFA for 90 days while it investigated his conduct.

In a statement posted on social media, Rubiales expressed his belief that his resignation would contribute to the stability necessary for Europe and Africa to host the 2030 World Cup. He also vowed to defend his honorability and innocence.

The controversy surrounding Rubiales began when he kissed Hermoso on the podium during the celebration of Spain's victory in the Women's World Cup. The unsolicited kiss received backlash from soccer fans worldwide, with accusations of abuse of power and perpetuating sexism in the sport. Rubiales had initially resisted calls for his resignation, claiming that the kiss was consensual and labeling the criticism as a "witch hunt" by "false feminists."

However, Hermoso denied the consensual nature of the kiss in a statement released by her player's union. Spain's players also expressed their disapproval, stating that they would refuse to play for the national team if changes were not made within the federation.

The scandal has overshadowed the achievements of Spain's women's team during the World Cup and has divided public opinion in Spain. While many citizens and the government have supported Hermoso and called for Rubiales' resignation, there are also supporters of Rubiales who believe he has been unfairly targeted.

The Spanish state prosecutors have filed a lawsuit against Rubiales for sexual assault and coercion. If found guilty, Rubiales could face a fine or a prison sentence of one to four years under a sexual consent law passed last year that eliminated the distinction between "sexual harassment" and "sexual assault."

The resignation of Rubiales has left the Spanish soccer federation in a state of upheaval. The federation had previously called for Rubiales to step down immediately, and the men's team had condemned his actions. FIFA's suspension of Rubiales further added to the turmoil within the organization.

It remains to be seen how the resignation of Rubiales will impact Spanish soccer moving forward. The focus now shifts to finding a new leader for the federation and addressing the concerns raised by players and the wider public regarding sexism and abuse of power within the sport.

/ Sunday, September 10, 2023, 8:16 PM /

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