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Monday, July 22, 2024

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    After the World Cup kissing controversy, Spain’s football boss has announced his resignation.

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    The suspended president of Spain’s football federation declared late Sunday that he will quit in the aftermath of a scandal that began when he kissed a female player during celebrations after the Spanish team’s Women’s World Cup victory last month.

    Just over two weeks ago, Luis Rubiales delivered a forceful address in which he repeatedly declared that he would not resign in the face of pressure. Instead of apologising for the spectacle, he maintained that Jennifer Hermoso, the player he kissed, agreed to be “pecked.”

    However, following his infamous remark, FIFA suspended him from his position, the Spanish Football Federation encouraged him to quit, Hermoso filed criminal proceedings against him, and his mother, who was campaigning for his justice, stopped her brief hunger fast.

    Rubiales said in a statement late Sunday, “It is obvious that I cannot return to my post.”

    “Insisting on staying…will not benefit either the Federation or Spanish football.” “Among other reasons, the powers that be would prevent me from returning,” he added.

    While FIFA has provisionally suspended him for his behaviour and attitude, the football governing body may ultimately expel him. The Spanish government has likewise attempted to depose him.

    Hermoso stated that she “felt vulnerable and a victim of an impulse-driven, sexist, out-of-place act” to which she had not consented. She further said that Rubiales put pressure on her and those around her to declare she wanted the kiss.

    Despite his resignation, Rubiales maintains that he is the victim of “lies.”

    Rubiales’ remark was made public at the same time that a preview of his interview with Rubiales was made available by British broadcaster Piers Morgan. The video, which also announces his departure, is the first appearance of the former Spanish football boss since his shocking remark.

    Morgan teased the interview, which would be released in full this week, saying it was “one of the most compelling interviews I’ve done.”

    In addition to Rubiales, the women’s team coach, Jorge Vilda, was fired last week.

    This comes after Rubiales agreed to keep Vilda as coach for four more years and to increase his salary to €500,000 ($535,572) each year.

    After Rubiales refused to resign or apologise, blaming “false feminism” for “trying to kill him,” the whole World Cup-winning women’s team and dozens more prominent female players issued a statement claiming they would no longer play for Spain’s football federation under the current leadership.

    Rubiales was replaced by Pedro Rocha, who some observers have regarded as his right-hand man, after he was suspended.

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