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Luis Rubiales resigns as Spanish soccer federation president

Luis Rubiales, the embattled head of Spain’s football federation, has resigned — three weeks after his unsolicited kiss on Spain forward Jennifer Hermoso at the Women’s World Cup set off worldwide condemnation. 

Rubiales announced on Sunday that he would be stepping down after it became clear he could no longer conduct his duties.

He had already been suspended by FIFA for 90 days while it investigated his conduct. 

“After the suspension from FIFA, plus all the other proceedings opened against me, it’s evident that I cannot go back to my position,” Rubiales said, according to a translated version of his statement by DAZN’s Alex Ibaceta

“Insisting on waiting and holding on will not contribute anything positive, not to the federation nor to Spanish football. I am making this decision after assuring my exit would contribute to the stability that will allow Europe and Africa to stay united in the dream of 2030, that will allow to bring the biggest event in the world to our country.

Luis Rubiales speaks during the extraordinary meeting of the General Assembly of the Spanish Football Federation in Madrid, Spain on August 25, 2023.Anadolu Agency via Getty Images/ ROYAL SPANISH FOOTBALL FEDERATION

“I have faith in the truth and I am going to do everything in my power so it prevails.”

Rubiales had kissed Hermoso on the lips during the podium celebration after Spain’s women’s team captured its first World Cup title.

The unsolicited kiss was caught on camera and beamed across the world to millions of soccer fans watching live. 

Luis Rubiales kissed Spain's Jenni Hermoso during the Women's World Cup in August 2023.Luis Rubiales kissed Spain’s Jenni Hermoso during the Women’s World Cup in August 2023.Fox Sports

The Spanish soccer federation president had resisted calls for him to resign, despite criticism coming from across the sport, as well as some of the highest levels of power in Spain’s government. 

Rubiales had insisted the kiss was consensual, saying in a fiery speech that he was the victim of a “witch hunt” by “false feminists.”

Hermoso has denied that in a statement put forth by her and her player’s union.

Spain’s players have said they wouldn’t play for the national team again if changes were made to the federation and the controversy has overshadowed the on-field achievements that took place during the World Cup.

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