Spanish football chief resigns after World Cup kiss scandal

The suspended president of Spain's football federation announced late Sunday that he will resign in the wake of a scandal that started when he kissed a female player during celebrations last month for the Spanish team's victory in the Women's World Cup. Just over two weeks ago, Luis Rubiales gave a defiant speech in which he repeatedly shouted that he would not quit amid pressure. Instead of apologizing for the spectacle, he insisted that the player he kissed, Jennifer Hermoso, consented to be 'pecked.' But since the infamous speech, FIFA suspended him from his post, the Spanish Football Federation urged him to resign, Hermoso pressed criminal charges against him, and his mom, who was protesting for his justice, gave up on her short-lived hunger strike. In a statement late Sunday, Rubiales wrote: 'It is obvious that I cannot return to my post.' 'Insisting on staying…won't contribute to anything positive for the Federation or for Spanish football. Among other things, it's because the powers that be would stop me from returning,' he added. While FIFA has suspended him temporarily for his behavior and attitude, the football body could oust him permanently. The Spanish government has also been trying to remove him. Hermoso said she 'felt vulnerable and a victim of an impulse-driven, sexist, out-of-place act" that she did not consent to. She also said Rubiales pressured her and those around her to say that she wanted the kiss. While Rubiales is stepping down, he still insists that he is the victim of "lies." Rubiales' statement was released at the same time as British broadcaster Piers Morgan released a preview of his interview with Rubiales. The clip, which also announces his resignation, is the first time the former Spanish football chief has been seen since his bombshell speech. Teasing the interview, to be released in full this week, Morgan said it was 'one of the most compelling interviews I've done.' Besides Rubiales, the women's team coach Jorge Vilda was also fired from his post last week. That comes after Rub iales promised to keep Vilda on as coach for four more years and ensure he got a pay raise to earn pound 500,000 (USD535,572) per year. After Rubiales refused to quit or apologize and blamed 'false feminism' for 'trying to kill him,' the entire World Cup-winning women's team and dozens more top female players released a statement saying they refused to play under the current leadership of Spain's football federation. After he was suspended, Rubiales was replaced with Pedro Rocha, who some observers have described as his right-hand man.

Source: Philippines News Agency