Spanish Soccer President Luis Rubiales Resigns from Position Following World Cup Kiss

Rubiales announced his resignation in a statement Sunday, and spoke about the decision in a sit-down interview with Piers Morgan

<p>Europa Press via AP</p> Luis Rubiales announces his resignation from his role as president of the Royal Spanish Football Federation

Europa Press via AP

Luis Rubiales announces his resignation from his role as president of the Royal Spanish Football Federation

Luis Rubiales is stepping down from his position as president of the Royal Spanish Football Federation.

Rubiales led the Spanish women's team to a World Cup victory on Aug. 20, but faced backlash after kissing one of the team's players following the win.

As the team celebrated their first-ever World Cup win, Rubiales, 45, kissed veteran player Jenni Hermoso on the lips. In other videos, he was seen kissing several other players on the face during the team's celebration. He later grabbed his crotch while standing in the crowd following the game.

In an Instagram video taken in the locker room after the match, Hermoso, 33, said, "I didn't like it," seemingly in response to her coach's show of affection, BBC reported.

In a sit-down interview with Piers Morgan which aired Sunday, Rubiales confirmed that he is stepping down from his role in the athletic organization. "About my resignation, yes, I'm going to."

He said of the situation he's facing, "I cannot continue my work."

Rubiales also described some of the conversations he's had in recent weeks with his family and close friends.

"My father, my daughters, I spoke with them. It's not — they know — it's not a question about me," he told Morgan. "And some friends, very close to me, they say to me, 'Luis, now you have to focus on your dignity and to continue your life. Because if not, probably, you are going to damage people you love and the sport you love.'"

He said he had to think not just about himself in the wake of the incident, adding that he "had to support a lot" in the last three weeks.

"This is the … in this situation now, the more intelligent and the thing I have to do."

On Sunday, Rubiales shared a statement on X, formerly known as Twitter, announcing that as of 9:30 p.m. local time, he had officially relinquished his title as president of the organization.

"I have faith in the truth and I will do everything in my power so that it prevails," he wrote in a bolded section of the statement.

Rubiales also said that his daughters, family and loved ones have "suffered the effects of an excessive persecution" in the wake of the World Cup final, but he noted that "in the street, more so every day, the truth is prevailing."

He concluded the statement by thanking those who have "supported" him over the last few weeks.

<p>Richard Callis / SPP/Sipa USA via AP</p> Luis Rubiales kisses the face of a player after Spain's World Cup win

Richard Callis / SPP/Sipa USA via AP

Luis Rubiales kisses the face of a player after Spain's World Cup win

Related: Spanish Soccer Federation Fires Women's Head Coach, Apologies for Luis Rubiales' 'Inappropriate Conduct'

Days after the World Cup win, FIFA suspended Rubiales for 90 days as a result of the unsolicited kiss.

In a statement, FIFA said that the ban would bar him "from all football-related activities at national and international level."

He was also told "to refrain, through himself or third parties, from contacting or attempting to contact the professional player of the Spanish national football team Ms. Jennifer Hermoso or her close environment."

The suspension was an initial step, and the statement said that "disciplinary proceedings" had been opened to investigate the incident.

<p>Alex Pantling - FIFA/FIFA via Getty</p> Luis Rubiales celebrates Spain's win at the World Cup

Alex Pantling - FIFA/FIFA via Getty

Luis Rubiales celebrates Spain's win at the World Cup

Despite facing backlash, Rubiales was steadfast in his defense of his actions.

The New York Times reported that he described himself as a victim of "social assassination" and "false feminism" during a press conference on Aug. 25. He also insisted that the kiss was "mutual and with the consent" of the midfielder, USA Today reported.

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After Rubiales' public defense of his actions, Hermoso issued her own statement. "Simply put, I was not respected," she wrote. "I felt vulnerable and a victim of an impulse-driven, sexist, out of place act without any consent on my part."

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