Luis Rubiales announced his resignation as the president of the Spanish soccer federation on Sunday, following weeks of intense criticism stemming from an unwanted kiss he shared with Women’s World Cup winner Jennifer Hermoso.
In a statement posted on X (formerly known as Twitter), Rubiales stated, “Today, at 9:30 pm, I informed Mr. Pedro Rocha, the interim president, that I am stepping down as President of RFEF. I have also informed him of my resignation from my position in UEFA, allowing for the filling of my Vice-presidency role.”
He went on to explain, “Continuing to hold onto my position would not contribute anything positive, neither to the Federation nor to Spanish football. Furthermore, external forces will prevent my return.”
The Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) confirmed Rubiales’ resignation as both the head of the Spanish football association and as vice president of UEFA. The RFEF’s board of directors will now initiate an election process to find his successor.
Rubiales also expressed his commitment to clearing his name from what he deemed “excessive persecution.” He wrote, “I have faith in the truth and will do everything within my power to ensure it prevails. My daughters, my family, and those who support me have endured unwarranted persecution and numerous falsehoods. However, the truth is gradually emerging in the public eye.”
Rubiales’ controversial kiss with Jennifer Hermoso following Spain’s Women’s World Cup victory on August 20 had drawn widespread condemnation in Spain and around the world. The 46-year-old had previously characterized the kiss as “mutual,” a claim that Hermoso refuted, asserting that she did not consent to it.
In response, FIFA had provisionally suspended Rubiales for 90 days pending a disciplinary investigation, and Pedro Rocha assumed the interim presidency.
Rubiales’ resignation prompted swift reactions from Spanish authorities. The Spanish Minister of Equality, Irene Montero, succinctly remarked on X, saying, “It’s over.”
Yolanda Diaz, Spain’s Second Deputy Prime Minister, also expressed her support on the platform, stating, “The feminist movement is making rapid progress in our country. Transformation and improvements in our lives are inevitable. We stand with you, Jenni, and with all women.