Luis Rubiales has finally resigned as president of the Spanish Football Federation following criticism for kissing Spain forward Jenni Hermoso at the Women’s World Cup final presentation ceremony.
Rubiales kissed the midfielder on the lips during the trophy presentation following Spain’s victory over England in last month’s World Cup final.
Hermoso later said the kiss was not consensual.
FIFA suspended Rubiales pending an investigation into his behaviour, and Hermoso submitted a complaint to the national prosecutor’s office on Wednesday which is now with Spain’s high court.
Rubiales had remained defiant despite a public outcry, claiming the kiss was ‘mutual’ and was adamant he would not quit his role.
But in an interview with Piers Morgan, Rubiales confirmed he will be stepping down, saying ‘of course, I cannot continue my work’.
Speaking to Morgan, Rubiales added: ‘My father, my daughters, I spoke with them…and some friends very close to me, and they say to me ”Luis, now you have to focus on your dignity and to continue your life.”
‘Because if you know probably you are going to damage people you love, and the sport you love…in this situation now, (it is) the thing I have to do.’
He decides to resign
He also tweeted as his decision to resign was made public on Piers Morgan Uncensored: ‘I will defend my honourability. I will defend my innocence.
‘I have faith in the future. I have faith in the truth. Thanks to everybody.’
In a long statement he released before he took to Twitter, the dad-of-three said: ‘Today at 9:30pm, I transmitted to the acting President, Mr. Pedro Rocha, my resignation from the position of President of the RFEF.
‘I have also informed you that I have done the same with my position at UEFA so that my position in the Vice Presidency can be replaced.
‘After the rapid suspension carried out by FIFA, plus the rest of the proceedings opened against me, it is clear that I will not be able to return to my position.
‘Insisting on waiting and clinging to it is not going to contribute anything positive, neither to the Federation nor to Spanish football. Among other things, because there are de facto powers that will prevent my return.
‘There is the management of my team and, above all, the happiness that I have for the enormous privilege of these more than five years at the head of the RFEF.
‘I do not want Spanish football to be harmed by this disproportionate campaign and, above all, I am making this decision after having made sure that my departure will contribute to the stability that will allow both Europe and Africa to remain united in the dream of 2030, which will allow the largest event in the world to be brought to our country.
‘I must look forward, look to the future.
‘Now there is something that occupies me firmly. I have faith in the truth and I will do everything in my power to make it prevail.
‘From here I convey a big hug to all the workers, assembly members, federations and football people in general, wishing them the best of luck.
‘Thank you to everyone who has supported me during these times.’