Luis Rubiales, on Friday, said he will not quit as President of the Spanish FA (RFEF) amid the controversy surrounding forcibly kissing midfielder Jenni Hermoso after the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup final.
After reports emerged that he would resign from the post today, the Spaniard surprised the football fraternity by refusing to resign, instead blaming the media and officials of ‘social assassination’.
Spain’s acting Deputy Prime Minister Yolanda Diaz however insisted that the RFEF chief has to go.
“The government must act and take urgent measures: impunity for macho actions is over. Rubiales cannot continue in office,” said Diaz on social media network X, formerly known as Twitter.
Rubiales’ position has been under immense scrutiny ever since the incident came to light right after the presentation ceremony following Spain’s maiden triumph at the Women’s World Cup.
The incident sparked outrage within and outside Spain, with many, including government ministers, players and coaches, demanding his resignation and forcing the federation to call an emergency assembly on Friday, where Rubiales said the kiss was consensual and he was the victim of social assassination.
“I will not resign, I will not resign,” he said.
Hermoso said earlier she did not like the kiss and the national players’ union representing her — which Rubiales once led — called for his conduct to not go unpunished.
FIFA announced on Thursday, that it was opening proceedings against Rubiales for violating paragraphs one and two of Article 13 of the FIFA Disciplinary Code.
“The FIFA Disciplinary Committee will only provide further information on these disciplinary proceedings once it has issued a final decision on the matter”, the committee said through a media statement.
- With inputs from Reuters
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