The head of the Spanish Football Federation, Luis Rubiales, has announced that he will resign. He said this on Sunday in a two-hour interview with British TV presenter Piers Morgan. The reason was a flurry of criticism, collapsed against Rubiales for kissing Spain national team player Jenny Hermoso after the Spanish team’s victory in the Women’s World Cup final.
Rubiales, 46, hugged and kissed Hermoso, 33, on the lips during the Aug. 20 medal ceremony. The episode was broadcast on the ceremony. The football player said in a broadcast from the locker room that she did not like what happened. Rubiales joked in the locker room that he was now marrying her.
His actions were immediately condemned by many athletes, sports officials and sports unions. A few days later, the Spanish women’s football league released a statement that Rubiales had “sullied one of the greatest feats in the history of Spanish sport with a shameful gesture.”
The organization called the incident an unprecedented international disgrace. “When the world should have been paying attention to our female players, the president forced the world’s attention to focus on his masculinity,” the statement said.
Rubiales was banned from football for 90 days by FIFA. His resignation was demanded by many Spanish politicians and public figures. He claimed that Hermoso agreed to the kiss, and he himself became a victim of “false feminism.” Hermoso denies consent and contacted the police.
Sports functionary faces prosecution. Spanish prosecutors are conducting a preliminary investigation to determine whether the incident constitutes a sexualized crime.