Soccer Chief Who Kissed World Cup Winner Resigns

Luis Rubiales says suspension, investigations sparked by outcry mean he can't return to post
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 10, 2023 4:13 PM CDT
Soccer Chief Who Kissed World Cup Winner Resigns
A demonstrator shouts slogans during a protest calling for the removal of Luis Rubiales on Aug. 28 in Madrid.   (AP Photo/Andrea Comas)

Suspended Spanish soccer federation President Luis Rubiales has resigned from his post after a kiss scandal that partly overshadowed Spain's victory at the Women's World Cup. Rubiales announced his resignation Sunday in a message posted on X, formerly known as Twitter, the AP reports. Rubiales kissed team captain Jenni Hermoso on the lips without her consent during the awards ceremony after Spain beat England to win the title on Aug. 20 in Sydney. He later argued the kiss was "mutual" and "consensual," but pressure for him to step down had only increased, per the New York Times.

"After the suspension from FIFA, plus all the other proceedings opened against me, it's evident that I cannot go back to my position," Rubiales wrote in a resignation letter to the federation, per Yahoo Sports. Interviewed on Piers Morgan Uncensored, Rubiales said he "cannot continue my work," adding, "This is the thing that I have to do," per the Washington Post. Spanish state prosecutors accused Rubiales, 46, of sexual assault and coercion, the country's prosecutors' office said Friday, two days after Hermoso formally accused him of sexual assault. He was suspended last month for 90 days by FIFA, soccer's global governing body.

(Read more Women's World Cup stories.)

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