luis Rubiales Resigns as Spain’s Soccer Chief: What Happens Next?

luis Rubiales Resigns as Spain’s Soccer Chief: What Happens Next?

Luis Rubiales has made a surprising decision to step down from his position as head of the Spanish soccer federation, just two weeks after adamantly stating that he wouldn’t resign despite his controversial behavior during the World Cup final.

Spanish prosecutors accuse Rubiales of sexual assault at World Cup

During the World Cup final, Rubiales made headlines for his inappropriate actions, which included grabbing his crotch and kissing a Spain player without her consent. This conduct was widely criticized and raised questions about his suitability for the role.

In a post shared in Spanish on X, Rubiales announced his departure, but notably, he did not offer an apology for the incident. His resignation comes as a significant development in the midst of the ongoing controversy surrounding his behavior.

“I will defend my honor. I will defend my innocence,” he said. “I have faith in the future. I have faith in the truth.”

In a statement attached to his resignation, Luis Rubiales explained that his decision to step down was prompted by FIFA’s suspension of his role last month. This suspension made it clear to him that he could no longer continue in his position. Additionally, he chose to resign from his role as the Vice President of UEFA, which is the governing body of European soccer. This move signifies his acknowledgment of the need to distance himself from these prominent positions in the world of football.

Credit: Reuters

“It is evident that I cannot return to my duties,” he said. “Insisting on waiting and hoping to hold on is not going to contribute to anything positive neither for the Spanish Federation nor for Spanish football. Among other things, because the powers that be prevent my return.”

He has stated that he believes the incident in question was blown out of proportion. He explained that his decision to step away from his roles in football is motivated by a desire to clear the name of football in Europe, particularly as the continent is aspiring to host the 2030 World Cup. Rubiales also expressed a desire to relieve the burden that the controversy had placed on his loved ones, including his family, who had been affected by the intense scrutiny and attention surrounding the incident. His resignation is a way to mitigate these challenges and potentially pave the way for a more positive future for football in Europe.

“My daughters, my family and the people that love me have suffered the effects of excessive persecution and many falsehoods,” he said, “but also it is certain that in the public more and more every day, the truth is being imposed.”

Piers Morgan, a prominent media personality, shared on social media that the former president, Luis Rubiales, had disclosed the news of his resignation during an interview. This interview is set to be broadcast later this week. It’s expected to be a candid and emotional conversation, shedding light on the circumstances surrounding Rubiales’ decision to step down and the events leading up to it. The interview is likely to provide additional insight into the situation and Rubiales’ perspective on the matter.

“It’s a raw, powerful, emotional conversation about THAT kiss, and crotch grab, which have made him the world’s most infamous man,” Morgan said.

Despite his initial resistance, it became increasingly evident that Luis Rubiales continuing as the head of Spain’s soccer federation was no longer a tenable option. He had already faced intense criticism for diverting attention away from the players who had just achieved their country’s first World Cup title. Rubiales further exacerbated the situation by asserting that Jenni Hermoso had not only consented to his kiss but had initiated it. These actions and statements drew significant backlash and controversy, making it increasingly clear that his position was unsustainable in the face of public opinion and scrutiny.

Following the incident involving Luis Rubiales, Jenni Hermoso released a statement later that day, contradicting Rubiales’ account. She expressed that she felt as though she had been assaulted during the incident, a sentiment that contradicted Rubiales’ assertion that the kiss had been consensual.

Additionally, Hermoso, along with her World Cup teammates, took a collective stance by declaring that they would not participate in any further matches until the leaders of the team, presumably including Rubiales, resigned from their positions. This bold move put Spain’s chances of qualifying for its first-ever Olympics in jeopardy, underscoring the seriousness of the situation and the resolve of the players to see a change in leadership.

The fallout from Luis Rubiales’ actions has had significant ramifications for Spanish sports. Spain had a crucial match scheduled against Sweden on September 21 in the Nations League, a competition determining the European teams that will join host France at the Paris Olympics next year. A potential boycott or defeat against Sweden with an inexperienced team would seriously jeopardize Spain’s chances of making it to the Paris Games.

Rubiales’ conduct led to immediate and widespread outrage, with prominent athletes like U.S. co-captain Alex Morgan, Sweden captain Kosovare Asllani, and England’s Alex Greenwood taking to social media to demand change. Borja Iglesias, a star on the men’s soccer team, declared that he would not represent Spain as long as Rubiales remained in his position. Even Pau Gasol, considered Spain’s greatest basketball player and a recent Hall of Fame inductee, expressed support for Jenni Hermoso and her teammates.

Rubiales’ departure marks yet another tumultuous chapter for the World Cup champions. Last September, 15 of Spain’s top women’s soccer players had expressed concerns to the federation about the environment created by their coach, Jorge Vilda. The federation’s response had been harsh, blacklisting the players and demanding an apology before they could return. Only three of the 15 players were part of the World Cup squad, along with Hermoso and two-time Ballon d’Or winner Alexia Putellas, who hadn’t been among the 15 but showed solidarity with her teammates’ concerns.

In her statement, Hermoso referred to these previous complaints, highlighting Rubiales’ behavior as yet another instance of mistreatment that the players had endured. His actions, including the incident at the World Cup where he grabbed his crotch and kissed Hermoso on the medals podium, were seen as inappropriate and non-consensual. Hermoso mentioned that the federation had attempted to coerce her into issuing a statement of support and had reached out to her family and friends.

It’s worth noting that Rubiales remains the subject of disciplinary proceedings by FIFA, and it’s uncertain what impact his resignation will have on his role as a vice president with UEFA. Europe’s governing body has remained notably silent regarding Rubiales and the problems he created within Spanish sports.

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John Smith

John Smith is a distinguished journalist, holding a Master's in Journalism from the renowned Columbia University. With a knack for uncovering the most captivating stories, John is the go-to expert for all things related to politics and current affairs. His insightful analysis and commitment to unbiased reporting set him apart in the world of journalism. John's writing ensures you're always in the know about the latest happenings in the USA.

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