Luis Rubiales, the president of the Spanish football federation, has defied calls for his resignation following his controversial behavior at the Women’s World Cup final.
Rubiales, aged 46, came under scrutiny after he kissed forward Jenni Hermoso on the lips and made a crotch-grabbing gesture during celebrations after Spain’s 1-0 victory over England. Despite widespread criticism and an ongoing disciplinary proceeding by FIFA, Rubiales has refused to step down.
Addressing an extraordinary general assembly convened by the federation, Luis Rubiales expressed his intention to remain in office and claimed he was the victim of a “social assassination.” He apologized for his actions, acknowledging that the kiss and crotch-grabbing were inappropriate and offensive. He apologized to Queen Letizia of Spain and all those offended by his behavior.
Contrary to speculations that he would resign, Luis Rubiales pledged to “fight until the end” and defend his ideals, even if it meant facing criticism. He explained that the kiss he shared with Hermoso was mutual and consensual, intended as a gesture of consolation after her missed penalty. He emphasized that he had never acted similarly before and expressed regret for his actions.
Luis Rubiales also discussed extending the contract of the controversial coach Jorge Vilda, offering him a significant salary increase. Vilda had previously faced a player revolt but was backed by the federation.
Rubiales’ refusal to step down has drawn strong condemnation from various quarters, including government officials, sports figures, and the public. Critics argue that his actions are unacceptable and demand accountability for his behavior.
Despite mounting pressure, Rubiales has stood firm in his position, prompting speculation that his tenure as president may be in jeopardy if the controversy continues.
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