According to reports, Luis Rubiales, the Spanish football chief, will step down from his position following widespread condemnation for forcibly kissing a Spain player after the Women’s World Cup final.
He is expected to submit his resignation at an extraordinary general assembly on Friday. The incident occurred after Spain’s victory over England, where Rubiales kissed midfielder Jennifer Hermoso on the lips without her consent and celebrated by grabbing his genitals.
The Spanish football federation (RFEF) has not yet responded to requests for comment. He faced immense pressure to resign, with criticism coming from various figures, including Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, Spain’s women’s league, La Liga clubs, and internationally.
FIFA has initiated disciplinary proceedings against Rubiales, citing potential violations of their disciplinary code. Hermoso and the union Futpro have called for action to be taken against the RFEF president.
“We are working to ensure that acts such as those we have seen never go unpunished, that they are sanctioned and that the exemplary measures are adopted to protect women footballers from actions that we believe are unacceptable,” the statement said.
Further Spanish clubs joined the wave of dissent against Rubiales on Thursday, following Getafe president Angel Torres the day before.
“We must all be consistent with what we do and say, that’s a fundamental thing,” Atletico Madrid president Enrique Cerezo told TV show Jugones on Spanish channel Mega.
“He will have to do what he considers appropriate, but I think that what he has to do is present his resignation.”
Real Sociedad president Jokin Aperribay also positioned himself against Rubiales.
“This should have been over days ago, it’s a shame that we are here and this has not been concluded,” he told Radio Euskadi.
Rubiales became president of the RFEF in May 2018 and has since been mired in a number of controversies.
He sacked Spain coach Julen Lopetegui two days before the country began their 2018 World Cup campaign, and moved the Spanish Super Cup to Saudi Arabia.
Rubiales backed controversial coach Jorge Vilda amid a wider dispute with 15 female players who refused to play for Spain, although several relented and three were called up to the World Cup winning squad.