Luis Rubiales will finally let go of the presidency of the Spanish Football Federation. After weeks of controversy, the man, who attacked the player Jennifer (known as Jenni) Hermoso after Spain's victory at the World Cup in Australia by kissing her without her consent, announces that he will resign this Sunday, September 10 .
“About my resignation, yes, I will do it, yes, because I cannot continue my work,” he said in an interview with English television journalist Piers Morgan. He was suspended for 90 days from his functions by FIFA, which opened disciplinary proceedings against him.
His resignation was notified at 9:30 p.m. (7:30 p.m. GMT) to the interim president of the Federation, according to a letter signed by Rubiales and published by Spanish media. “Following the rapid suspension of Fifa and the procedures opened against me, it is obvious that I will not be able to regain my position,” he wrote in this letter. “I do not want Spanish football to be able to suffer the damage of this disproportionate campaign” launched, according to him, against it, he said again.
The attack on the player on August 20 triggered a wave of global indignation. He risks being prosecuted for “sexual assault” by the Spanish justice system, the prosecution having requested his indictment on Friday. Since a recent reform of the Spanish Penal Code, a non-consensual kiss can be considered sexual assault, a criminal category bringing together all types of sexual violence.
Luis Rubiales, who claimed that it was a "little consented kiss", had refused until then to resign and counter-attacked by castigating on August 25 a supposed "false feminism" and argued that he had obtained the permission from the player before kissing her. A version denied by Jenni Hermoso, who said she "felt vulnerable and victim (...) of an impulsive and sexist act, inappropriate and without any consent on (her) part".
This affair plunged Spanish football into chaos and overshadowed the world title of the women's national team. Criticized by his players, coach Jorge Vilda, close to Rubiales, was sacked on Tuesday by the federation and replaced by his former assistant, Montse Tomé.