Luis Rubiales has refused to resign as head of the Spanish soccer federation. Juan Medina/Reuters CNN —
Spanish soccer chief Luis Rubiales has refused to resign from his position as Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) president following a week of fierce criticism after video showed him placing an unwanted kiss on a star player of Spain’s winning Women’s World Cup team.
Rubiales spoke at an RFEF Extraordinary General Assembly on Friday, saying he will “fight to the end” and refused to resign in a defiant speech, during which he spoke of “unjust” campaigns and “fake feminism.”
Rubiales was filmed forcibly kissing Spain star Jennifer Hermoso – who had helped La Roja win its first Women’s World Cup title on Sunday in Sydney – on the lips after she collected her winners’ medal, an act which the 33-year-old World Cup winner later said she “didn’t like” and “didn’t expect.”
On Monday, Rubiales admitted he had “made a mistake,” but criticism continued to pour in throughout the week from the soccer world and Spanish politicians, including Spain’s Prime Minister, Pedro Sánchez, who said the apology for what he called an “unacceptable gesture” was “not enough.”
More to follow…
Luis Rubiales kisses Jennifer Hermoso during the medal ceremony following Spain’s 1-0 win over England on Sunday. Noe Llamas/Sports Press Photo/Reuters