With Rubiales finally out, Spanish football is ready to put an embarrassing chapter behind it


With Rubiales finally out, Spanish football is ready to put an embarrassing chapter behind it

Spanish football is ready to move forward, three weeks after its women’s team won the Women’s World Cup but celebrated marred by a kiss That triggered a crisis.

Luis Rubiales, the president of the Spanish Football Federation, who kissed a player on the lips without her consent during the trophy ceremony in Australia last month, resigned late Sunday after weeks of relentless pressure from sport and Spanish society in general.

The decision, which many in the country had hoped for much earlier, should help Spanish football overcome one of its most embarrassing chapters. It should also pave the way for Spain to get back on track with its bid to host the men’s World Cup in 2030, along with Portugal, Morocco and possibly Ukraine.

“It’s over,” said Irene Montero, Spain’s acting equal opportunities minister. wrote on X the social media platform formerly known as Twitter.

Rubiales was widely criticized after he kissed Jenni Hermoso on the lips during the awards ceremony following Spain’s 1-0 victory over England in the Women’s World Cup final in Sydney on August 20. said Hermoso The kiss happened without her consent.

Rubiales had been expected to resign at an extraordinary general meeting of the association shortly after the World Cup final, but instead said he was a victim a “witch hunt” by “fake feminists”.

His defiant attitude did not solve the problem.

“The feminist country is advancing faster and faster,” said Yolanda Díaz, Spain’s acting deputy prime minister. wrote on X after Rubiales made his resignation public. “Changing and improving our lives is inevitable. We are with you, Jenni, and with all women.”

Rubiales had had no public supporters except for his mother, who played a leading role short-lived hunger strike in a church in southern Spain. His own association also publicly called on him to resign, and one of his biggest supporters, women’s coach Jorge Vilda, was fired last week.

Pedro Rocha has led the association since Rubiales was provisionally suspended by FIFA, world football’s governing body. The Spanish federation said in a statement early Monday that it would begin a process to call a new presidential election.

Rubiales also said he resigned as vice president of European soccer body UEFA because the scandal could pose a threat to the reputation of Spain’s World Cup.

“I do not want Spanish football to be damaged by this exaggerated campaign against me and, above all, I am taking this decision after being assured that my departure would contribute to the stability that will allow both Europe and Africa to live for “I dream of the year 2030, which will allow the greatest sporting event in the world to take place in our country,” said Rubiales.

“Insisting on waiting and persevering would not bring anything positive for the association or for Spanish football, among other things because those in power would prevent me from returning (to my job).”

The next men’s World Cup will be held in 2026 in the USA, Mexico and Canada.

Rubiales’ statement late Sunday came around the same time as the release of excerpts from an interview he did with television host Piers Morgan on Britain’s TalkTV.

“I hope that he gets off through a conviction, a punishment, and not because of his voluntary decision,” Victoria Rosell, a government official working on gender-based violence, was quoted as saying by Spanish news agency EFE.

Spain, which has moved up to second in the FIFA rankings, will open the Women’s Nations League with a visit to leaders Sweden on September 22. Spain defeated Sweden in the semifinals of the Women’s World Cup.

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