Spanish soccer president refuses to resign regardless of kissing a participant on the lips at Ladies’s World Cup

Sports activities Information

“I did not prefer it, however what can I do?”

FILE – President of Spain’s soccer federation, Luis Rubiales, proper, hugs Spain’s Aitana Bonmati on the rostrum following Spain’s win within the last of Ladies’s World Cup soccer towards England at Stadium Australia in Sydney, Australia, Sunday, Aug. 20, 2023. At left is Spain’s Princess Infanta Sofia. (AP Picture/Alessandra Tarantino, File) AP

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Going through his doable elimination from workplace, the president of the Spanish soccer federation refused to resign Friday regardless of the uproar he brought about when he kissed a participant on the lips with out her consent after the Ladies’s World Cup last.

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Luis Rubiales is below immense stress to depart his publish due to his conduct after Spain’s 1-0 victory over England on Sunday. Criticism has steadily mounted, with Spain’s performing prime minister, gamers’ unions, Spain’s ladies gamers, and even voices from inside males’s soccer saying he should go.

However Rubiales was defiant at an emergency normal meeting of the federation.

“I received’t resign,” he declared 4 instances in fast succession. He claimed he was a sufferer of a witch hunt by “false feminists.”

A number of Spanish information media retailers had reported on Thursday that the 46-year-old Rubiales was planning to step down after grabbing and kissing Jenni Hermoso through the awards ceremony in Sydney, Australia, an motion that marred the title celebrations in entrance of a worldwide viewers.

However on Friday, he did the alternative, insisting that the kiss was “mutual and with the consent” of Hermoso and portray himself as a sufferer. He was applauded by the overwhelming male meeting. Amongst these supporting his refusal to step down had been ladies’s nationwide crew coach Jorge Vilda and males’s nationwide crew coach Luis de la Fuente.

The soccer federation first responded to the scandal by releasing an announcement during which Hermoso downplayed Rubiales’ motion. Later, nevertheless, sports activities web site reported that the federation had coerced her into making the assertion.

The federation denied this to The Related Press. However on Friday, federation vp Rafael del Amo, who had been accountable for ladies’s soccer, introduced he was stepping down. Others additionally later resigned.

Hermoso had stated in a video streamed on social media after the kiss final Sunday that “I didn’t prefer it, however what can I do?” Later, her gamers’ union issued an announcement on her behalf saying that it could defend her pursuits and be certain that the act “doesn’t go unpunished.”

In his speech to the meeting on Friday, Rubiales stated Hermoso “lifted me up” in a celebratory gesture and he requested her for “just a little kiss?” and she or he “stated sure.”

“The kiss was the identical I might give one among my daughters,” Rubiales stated.

The televised broadcast of the medals ceremony didn’t present the primary moments when Rubiales congratulated Hermoso. But it surely does present that his ft had been on the bottom earlier than he held her face and kissed her.

Rubiales stated he would defend his honor in court docket towards politicians, together with two ministers, who known as his kiss an act of sexual violence. One in every of them is performing Deputy Prime Minister Yolanda Díaz, who urged the federal government to take “pressing measures.”

“Impunity for macho actions is over,” Díaz stated. “Rubiales can’t proceed in workplace.”

Alexia Putellas, Hermoso’s teammate and a two-time Ballon d’Or winner as the most effective participant on this planet, posted a message of help on X, previously generally known as Twitter.

“That is unacceptable,” the Barcelona participant wrote. “I’m with you, my teammate, Jenni Hermoso.”

Different teammates rapidly adopted.

Aitana Bonmatí, the Spain midfielder named the most effective participant of the Ladies’s World Cup, stated on X: “There are limits that you just can’t cross and we can’t tolerate this. We’re with our teammate.”

The president of Spain’s ladies’s league, Beatriz Álvarez, advised Spanish state broadcaster RTVE that she was not shocked as a result of Rubiales’ “ego is above his dignity.”

“What surprises and scandalizes me are his phrases,” Álvarez stated. “Each time he speaks he exhibits what sort of particular person he actually is.”

Spain’s Larger Council of Sports activities, the nation’s governing sports activities physique, responded to Rubiales on Friday by saying it was instantly referring the complaints it has obtained from two federation meeting members, Spain’s ladies’s league and Díaz’s political get together to Spain’s Administrative Court docket for Sports activities. Rubiales may very well be deemed unfit to carry workplace if the court docket finds that he violated legal guidelines or rules sanctioning sexist acts.

“The speech by Mr. Rubiales earlier than the overall meeting of the Spanish soccer federation is totally incompatible with representing Spanish sports activities and with the values of a complicated society like Spain’s,” the council stated.

Barcelona, which offered 9 gamers for Spain’s crew, stated Rubiales’ habits “was fully inappropriate.” Sevilla known as for his resignation. Espanyol additionally joined within the criticism.

FIFA, the governing physique of soccer, opened a disciplinary case towards Rubiales on Thursday. The FIFA disciplinary committee will determine whether or not Rubiales violated its code referring to “the fundamental guidelines of first rate conduct” or behaved “in a approach that brings the game of soccer and/or FIFA into disrepute.”

Disciplinary judges can impose sanctions on people starting from warnings and fines to suspensions from the game. FIFA gave no timetable for the ruling.

FIFA’s investigation got here after Spain’s performing prime minister, Pedro Sánchez, stated earlier this week that Rubiales’ try to apologize — after he first insulted his critics — was unconvincing and that “he should proceed taking additional steps.”

The Netherlands-based FIFPRO participant’s union, which had already demanded motion towards Rubiales, reiterated its place after his meeting speech. The union stated it welcomed the strikes by FIFA and Spain.

The one related establishment to stay silent has been European soccer physique UEFA, for which Rubiales is a vp. Till Friday’s meeting, he had obtained no public help in Spain, with political events from each the left and the proper talking out towards him. FIFPRO urged UEFA to open its personal disciplinary case.

Rubiales, who led the Spanish gamers’ union for eight years earlier than taking up as federation president in 2018, is at the moment heading the UEFA-backed bid to host the boys’s World Cup in 2030. Spain is bidding with neighboring Portugal and Morocco, and likewise probably Ukraine.

Shortly earlier than the kiss, Rubiales grabbed his crotch in a victory gesture, with Queen Letizia of Spain and 16-year outdated Princess Sofía standing close by.

He supplied an apology for that, saying it was in a second of “euphoria” and directed towards Vilda on the sector.

The primary members of the elite in Spanish males’s soccer spoke out towards Rubiales on Thursday, when it appeared like he was bowing out. Their phrases of reproach continued to trickle in after Rubiales’ diatribe on Friday.

“What a humiliation,” former Spain goalkeeper Iker Casillas stated on X. “We should always have spent the final 5 days speaking about our ladies gamers, in regards to the pleasure they gave us all! About how proud we’re that they gave us a title that we didn’t have in ladies’s soccer, as a substitute …”

Actual Betis ahead Borja Iglesias, who has often been known as up for Spain’s nationwide crew, stated he wouldn’t play for his nation once more “till issues change.”