Luis Rubiales has been provisionally suspended by FIFA following the Spanish Football Federation president’s conduct at last week’s women’s World Cup final.
Rubiales has refused to resign from his post despite a major uproar caused by him kissing Jenni Hermoso on the lips while she collected her medal after Spain’s 1-0 win over England in Sydney last weekend.
FIFA have also ordered Rubiales and the Spanish FA not to contact the World Cup winner or anyone close to her. Hermoso has accused the federation of a “manipulative, hostile and controlling culture”.
What happened at Rubiales’ shocking press conference?
- He insisted repeatedly that he would not resign
- Said his kiss of Hermoso was “spontaneous” and “consensual”
- Claimed he is the victim of a witch hunt by “false feminists”
- Threatened to sue his accusers
- Said he will offer women’s head coach Jorge Vilda a new four-year contract
Rubiales is under investigation by FIFA but UEFA – of which he is a €250,000-a-year vice-president – has yet to comment.
Hermoso stressed on Friday she did not consent to the kiss but her country’s football federation (RFEF) announced an intention to take legal action over the comments made by the forward over Rubiales.
Rubiales was expected to stand down on Friday over the kiss scandal but instead claimed to be the victim of a witch-hunt by “false feminists” in an extraordinary speech in front of the general assembly of the Spanish football federation.
That sparked an outcry from Hermoso and her team-mates who vowed not to play for Spain again – days after winning the World Cup for the first time.
In a statement on Friday night, the 33-year-old forward said “in no moment” did she consent to the kiss.
Rubiales used his federation to accuse Hermoso of lying about him forcibly kissing her in the early hours of Saturday morning.
‘They are preparing an execution’ – Rubiales’ astonishing rant
Spanish FA president Luis Rubiales at an extraordinary meeting of its general assembly:
“They are not trying to carry out justice, that’s fake. A social assassination is being carried out on me. They are trying to kill me.
“Fake feminism does not seek justice, doesn’t seek the truth, doesn’t care about people. I repeat, they are preparing an execution.
“To these people who have said this about me, that have accused me, that are trying to kill me publicly… I’m going to defend myself, I’m going to defend myself like every other Spaniard should do in the courts.
“I’m going to take action against them. I’m not going to resign! I am not going to resign! I am not going to resign! I am not going to resign! I am not going to resign!”
The Spanish football federation’s lengthy statement showed a series of images claiming to be Hermoso encouraging being lifted by Rubiales.
“Mr President’s feet are ostensibly lifted from the ground as a result of the player’s action,” the statement said.
“The tests are conclusive. Mr President has not lied.
“The RFEF and Mr President will demonstrate each of the lies that are spread either by someone on behalf of the player or, if applicable, by the player herself.”
However, Hermoso was quoted in a statement issued by Futpro, the players’ union representing her, as stating: “In no case did I seek to raise the president.”
England Women released a statement via captain Leah Williamson in support of Hermoso and the Spanish team that defeated them 1-0 in the World Cup final.
About 100 people, mostly women, gathered Friday night in front of the Spanish Soccer Federation’s headquarters in Madrid to call for Rubiales’ resignation, many waving red cards.