BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — The president of the Spanish soccer federation is set to convene an emergency meeting with its general assembly on Friday amid widespread speculation that he will announce his resignation. uproar for kissing This follows a major controversy involving his inappropriate kiss with a Women’s World Cup champion.
Luis Rubiales is expected to address representatives from Spain’s regional federations, clubs, players, coaches, and referees in Madrid at noon local time, with various local media sources strongly indicating his intention to step down.
Despite repeated requests for comment from The Associated Press, the federation has refrained from making an official statement concerning the reports that emerged late Thursday about Rubiales’ plan to resign.
Under considerable pressure to vacate his position, Rubiales, aged 46, is facing backlash after kissing player Jenni Hermoso on the lips without her consent during the awards ceremony following Spain’s 1-0 victory over England on Sunday in Sydney, Australia.
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FIFA, the global governing body of soccer and the organizer of the Women’s World Cup has taken action by initiating disciplinary proceedings against Rubiales. Their disciplinary committee is tasked with assessing whether Rubiales’ behavior contravened FIFA’s regulations regarding “basic standards of conduct” and “actions that bring the sport of football and/or FIFA into disrepute.”
FIFA’s intervention followed comments from Spain’s acting Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez, who deemed Rubiales’ apology insincere, particularly after his initial defensive response. Sánchez emphasized the need for Rubiales to take additional measures to be held accountable.
Spain’s Higher Council of Sports, the nation’s overseeing body for sports, has committed to swift action to investigate the formal complaints lodged against Rubiales. Their goal is to determine whether he violated Spain’s sports laws or the federation’s code of conduct, which explicitly prohibits sexist acts. If found guilty, Rubiales could be declared unfit for his position by Spain’s Administrative Court for Sports.
Complicating matters, Rubiales had also made an obscene gesture by grabbing his crotch while seated in the presence of Spain’s Queen Letizia and the 16-year-old Princess Sofía.
The combination of these actions—the offensive gesture and the unwarranted kiss—has turned Rubiales into a source of national embarrassment, Spain’s 1-0 victory over England overshadowing the significant achievement of the Spanish women’s team.
Hermoso, a 33-year-old forward who played a pivotal role in Spain’s victory, expressed her dissatisfaction on a social media platform, stating, “I didn’t appreciate it, but what could I do?” This statement was made during a locker-room celebration immediately following the incident.
Initially, a statement attributed to Hermoso downplayed the incident. However, later reports from local media, including Relevo.com, suggested that the federation coerced her into making that statement. The federation, however, denied these allegations when approached by The AP.
In response, Hermoso issued a statement through her players’ union, indicating their intent to speak on her behalf. The union vowed to take all necessary measures to ensure that the incident does not pass without consequences.
Rubiales has garnered no public support from prominent sports figures, and political parties from across the spectrum are demanding his resignation.