‘Forced to kiss female players’ Spanish soccer federation head resigns amid sex scandal…102 hours after controversy erupted

August 25, 2023 | by

Luis Rubiales, the president of the Royal Spanish Football Association, is stepping down in disgrace.

“President Rubiales is resigning,” multiple Spanish media outlets, including Ace and Marca, reported on Friday. His resignation comes 102 hours after he was accused of forcibly kissing female soccer player Jenny Hermoso.

“Rubiales’ resignation was accelerated after an extraordinary general assembly scheduled for Friday. The situation has changed as more soccer officials and government ministries have called for his resignation.”

Rubiales was accused of groping a player after Spain beat England 1-0 in the final of the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 in Sydney, Australia, to win its first-ever title.

After hugging Hermoso at the victory ceremony, he grabbed her face with both hands and kissed her. It was a forced kiss and the victim, Hermoso, was clearly offended. “I don’t feel good,” she said in a live video on social media shortly after the ceremony.

Hermoso’s obviously offended reaction warranted a sincere apology, even then. But Rubiales’ response was dismissive and escalated the problem. “Everyone says stupid things,” he said, unable to admit he was wrong.

Public opinion exploded. It wasn’t until Rubiales arrived in Spain that he realized the public outcry over the sex scandal. “I definitely made a mistake. I made a mistake. I acted in the heat of the moment. There was no malicious intent,” he said. “I thought it was appropriate for the atmosphere, but it caused a ripple. I’ve learned from it and will be more careful as president of an organization.”

However, Mr. Rubiales said he would not relinquish his title over the controversial comments. When she ignored calls for her resignation, the Spanish government rose to the occasion, with Spanish Culture and Sports Minister Iker Iseta tweeting, “This is not an acceptable event. We need to work for equality, rights, and respect for women,” said Iker Iseta, Spain’s Minister of Sports, “It is unacceptable that a kiss is the way to celebrate an athlete.”

He added that if no action is taken at the level of the Spanish soccer federation, he will move at the government level. Iseta said, “We will refer the matter to the Superior Sports Council (CSD). We have the material on this case. If they don’t take action, we will ask the Court of Arbitration for Sport,” he said, signaling a strong response.

Even Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez stood up and said, “An apology is not enough. Spanish soccer has been disgraced,” he said.

Hermoso also demanded punishment. “My union, Futpro, and my agent will represent my interests,” Hermoso said, “We want punishment for such behavior. There must be exemplary measures to protect female players from unacceptable behavior.”

Calls for his resignation continued. Deputy Prime Minister Yolanda Díaz tweeted, “Spain is equal. Excuses are meaningless. He has done wrong and must resign.” The Spanish women’s soccer league, Liga F, reportedly sent a letter of protest to the CSD demanding Rubiales’ resignation.

During this process, Rubiales did not take the matter seriously, asking Hermoso to appear in an apology video on the flight back to Spain from the World Cup. 소닉카지노

In the end, Rubiales decided to step down just five days after the sexual misconduct scandal broke. He was first elected president of the Spanish soccer federation in May 2018. He remained at the helm for five years, winning re-election to a four-year term in 2020.

In addition to the sexual misconduct, there were other issues during his tenure. He was heavily criticized for organizing the Spanish Super Cup in Saudi Arabia, the Gerard Pique trade, and his stay in New York.


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