Luis Rubiales has stepped down from his role as president of the Spanish Football Federation amidst controversy surrounding a kiss he shared with Spain forward Jenni Hermoso during the Women’s World Cup final presentation ceremony. This kiss led to accusations from Hermoso that it was non-consensual, resulting in her filing a legal complaint.
Rubiales confirmed his resignation in a statement and also resigned from his position as vice-president of Uefa’s executive committee. The fallout from the incident has overshadowed Spain’s World Cup victory, and Rubiales had been under pressure to step down.
A prosecutor filed a complaint with Spain’s high court against Rubiales, alleging sexual assault and coercion, following Hermoso’s testimony. Rubiales had maintained that the kiss was consensual, but he was provisionally suspended by FIFA.
Rubiales expressed his hope that his departure would benefit Spain’s joint bid with Morocco and Portugal to host the 2030 World Cup. He mentioned that he had considered the impact of the situation on his family and the sport he loved, leading him to resign.
The complaint against Rubiales includes allegations of sexual assault and coercion, with the court now tasked with determining whether to proceed with formal charges. The charge of sexual assault under Spanish law carries potential penalties ranging from a fine to four years in prison.