Luis Rubiales, the head of the Spanish football league, quit after getting a lot of flak for kissing Jenni Hermoso on the lips at the Women’s World Cup victory ceremony.
Rubiales, who had already been suspended, said in an open letter that he sent his resignation to the federation’s acting president and also talked about why he was leaving in a TV interview.
Rubiales said in an interview for the TV show “Piers Morgan Uncensored” that he was leaving his job because he couldn’t do it anymore.
“My family and friends tell me, ‘Luis, you need to keep your honor and keep living. If you don’t, you’ll hurt the people you care about and the sport you like.”
Rubiales angered people all over the world when he kissed midfielder Hermoso by force during the award ceremony after Spain won the World Cup on August 20 in Sydney.
FIFA suspended him for 90 days because he refused to quit, and Spanish prosecutors have filed a lawsuit against him for alleged sexual assault and coercion.
Hermoso, who is 33 years old, made a complaint against Rubiales for sexual assault at the National Court on Tuesday.
Rubiales wrote an open letter that was released on Sunday night. In it, he said he had told the league that he was also stepping down as a vice president of UEFA, the organization that runs football in Europe.
In the letter, Rubiales said, “It is clear that I won’t be able to go back to my job after FIFA quickly suspended me and all the other cases were opened against me.”
“Insisting on waiting and holding on to it won’t help the union or Spanish football in any way.
“Among other things, because there are people who can stop me from coming back.”
Rubiales says that the kiss was mutually agreed upon, and he said that he didn’t want “such a disproportionate campaign” against him to hurt Spanish football.
“I believe in the truth, and I’ll do everything I can to help it win.”
Rubiales said that his leaving would add “stability” to Spain’s bid for the men’s World Cup in 2030.
In the last few weeks, people have been putting more and more pressure on him to quit. In response, Rubiales’ mother, Angeles Bejar, went on a hunger strike and locked herself in a church to protest.
Some Spanish lawmakers were glad to see Rubiales go.
“We are with you, Jenni, and all women,” said Yolanda Diaz, the second deputy prime minister, on X, which used to be called Twitter.
Irene Montero, Spain’s equality minister, wrote “It’s Over” on X. This was a phrase that Hermoso and her team used to protest Rubiales.
Over 80 women’s team players went on strike to protest Rubiales’ angry speech after the incident, in which he railed against “false feminism” and said he would not step down.
The players said they wouldn’t come back until the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) got a new head.
Jorge Vilda, the women’s coach who was at the center of the incident, was fired on Tuesday.
Under temporary president Pedro Rocha, the RFEF also apologized for Rubiales’s “totally unacceptable” actions.
Montserrat Tome, who used to work for Vilda, is now the coach. She is the first woman to lead the team.
On September 22 and 26, the women’s team from Spain will play against Sweden and Switzerland in the Nations League.