Madrid, September 11, 2023 – Luis Rubiales, the embattled head of the Spanish Football Federation, announced his resignation on Sunday, putting an end to weeks of turmoil that erupted after he planted an unwanted kiss on the lips of Spanish international player Jenni Hermoso. This dramatic decision follows a suspension handed down by FIFA and widespread criticism from both the footballing community and the public.
The controversy unfolded three weeks ago when Spain celebrated its historic Women’s World Cup victory. Rather than being remembered for the nation’s remarkable triumph, the spotlight shifted to Rubiales and his ill-judged gesture towards the star player Jenni Hermoso.
FIFA swiftly acted by suspending Rubiales and launching an investigation into the incident, citing it as a violation of their code of conduct regarding player interactions. The suspension sent shockwaves through the Spanish football community, with calls for Rubiales to step down becoming increasingly deafening.
In his resignation statement, Rubiales acknowledged his inappropriate behavior and expressed deep regret for tarnishing Spain’s World Cup triumph. He stated, “I apologize sincerely for my actions and any harm they may have caused. My intent was never to overshadow the incredible achievement of our national women’s team. To avoid further harm to the reputation of our federation and women’s football, I have decided to resign.”
Rubiales’ decision to step down marks the end of his tumultuous tenure as the head of the Spanish Football Federation. While he leaves amidst controversy, his departure is seen by many as a necessary step to begin the process of rebuilding trust within the organization and the broader football community.
The focus now shifts to the future leadership of Spanish football, with the task of ensuring that the accomplishments of the women’s national team are celebrated and respected. As the football world watches closely, the Spanish Football Federation is expected to move swiftly in selecting a new leader who will guide the sport into a new era of inclusivity and professionalism.