The Spanish Football Association’s regional presidents have requested Luis Rubiales’ resignation with immediate effect.
It comes after the Spanish FA president forcibly kissed Jennifer Hermoso following the Women’s World Cup final after the Spain women’s side defeated England.
The incident has sparked much backlash with members of the Spain men’s and women’s national side last week calling for Rubiales to step-down from his position.
But he refused to resign in a staggering press conference and was subsequently suspended by FIFA’s disciplinary committee for 90 days from all footballing activity.
He has since claimed that he would ‘defend himself’ following the suspension, but many in the football community have condemned the president’s behaviour, with Alexis Putellas and several other members of the women’s side speaking out publicly against the incident.
The territorial presidents of the Spanish Football Association have called on Luis Rubiales (pictured) to resign from his position immediately
It comes after Rubiales (right) forcibly kissed Jennifer Hermoso (left) on the lips during the Women’s World Cup final medal presentation ceremony
In a statement today they called Rubiales’ actions ‘unacceptable’ and claimed his ‘behaviours that have seriously damaged the image of Spanish football’
It also comes as FIFA push for Rubiales to be banned for 15 years, the maximum length of suspension that can be given by their statutes.
Hermoso had said that she ‘didn’t consent’ to the kiss stating: ‘I want to clarify, that at no time did I consent to the kiss. I don’t tolerate that my word is questioned, much less that words are invented that I haven’t said.’
Mail Sport reported today that prosecutors have opened a preliminary sex abuse investigation into the Spainshi FA president, with reports also suggesting that the Spanish FA had called for an emergency meeting on Monday as Rubiales faces a storm of criticism.
And this evening presidents from around the Spanish FA have asked for Rubiales to hand in his resignation letter.
A statement released by the Spanish FA (the RFEF) this evening read: ‘Once the meeting of the Commission of Presidents of Regional and Territorial Federations of the RFEF has finished, the following agreements are unanimously made known to the world of football and society:
‘After the latest events and the unacceptable behaviours that have seriously damaged the image of Spanish football, the presidents request Mr Luis Rubiales immediately present his resignation as president of the RFEF.
‘We warmly congratulate the women’s soccer team for their victory in the World Cup. We value the meaning and legacy of success for Spanish sport. We express our admiration and gratitude to an unrepeatable group of players and we extend our congratulations to all those who have built, over the years with determination, the growth of women’s football.
Spanish Football Federation chief Luis Rubiales defiantly refused to resign in his speech
‘We will urge the corresponding bodies to carry out a deep and imminent organic restructuring in strategic positions of the Federation to give way to a new stage of management in Spanish football.
‘Once FIFA has suspended Mr Luis Rubiales, the Federation’s internal protocols have been activated as a result of the suspension.
‘In addition, we have urged President Pedro Rocha to immediately withdraw the last communication on behalf of the Federation with FIFA and UEFA that we have known today.
‘The RFEF maintains its commitment to continue implementing its investment, as well as equality policies for the development of women’s football.
‘Lastly, the Presidents’ Commission has given its unanimous support to Mr Pedro Rocha so that he may lead a new stage where dialogue and reconciliation with all football institutions is the line to follow.
‘We make ourselves available to the CSD and all the institutions involved to continue building together the candidacy for the 2030 World Cup.’
Last week Rubiales slammed his detractors as ‘idiots’ and amid rising pressure to quit re-asserted in a press conference stated four times that he would not be resigning from his position.
Protesters have today lined the streets of Madrid in support of Hermoso but also condemned the Spanish FA President too
In a stunning speech on Friday he blamed ‘false feminism’ for a ‘social murder’ on him while also claiming that he would ‘fight to the end’.
I am not going to resign,’ he shouted four times during a speech in an emergency meeting of federation officials.
And his refusal to quit was condemned by many in the footballing community with Borja Iglasias resigning from the men’s national team after Rubiales refused to resign.
David de Gea and Iker Casillas also tore into the 46-year-old calling his speech ’embarrasing’.
Spain’s World Cup winner Putellas tweeted: ‘This is unacceptable. It’s over. With you partner @jennihermoso’, while her team-mate Aitana Bonmati wrote: ‘There are limits that cannot be crossed and we cannot tolerate this. We are with you partner.’
Hermoso (pictured) made a statement on Saturday claiming that she ‘felt vulnerable’ following the incident
Hermoso issued a statement on Saturday on Twitter stating: ‘I want to reiterate as I did before that I did not like this incident.
‘The situation shocked me given the celebrations that were taking place at the moment, and with the passage of time and after delving a little deeper into those initial feelings, I feel the need to report this incident because I believe that no person, in any work, sports or social setting should be a victim of these types of non-consensual behaviours.
‘I felt vulnerable and a victim of an impulse-driven, sexist, out of place act without any consent on my part.
‘Simply put, I was not respected.’
She has received the support of many around the footballing community including from the Lionesses who issued a statement saying: ‘We stand with you, Jenni Hermoso and all players of the Spanish team.’
Spain boss Jorge Vilda has also condemned the behaviour of the Spanish FA president as ‘inappropriate and unacceptable.’
‘I regret deeply that the victory of Spanish women’s football has been harmed by the inappropriate behaviour that our until now top leader, Luis Rubiales, has carried out and that he himself has recognised,’ Vilda wrote in a statement released on Saturday.
‘There is no doubt that it is unacceptable and does not reflect at all the principles and values that I defend in my life, in sport in general and in football in particular.’