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11 members of Spain's coaching staff quit over Luis Rubiales kiss scandal
26 August 2023, 20:42 | Updated: 31 August 2023, 15:32
Eleven members of coaching staff supporting Spain's Women's World Cup winning team have resigned amid the ongoing Luis Rubiales kissing scandal.
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All but one member of coaching staff have now resigned amid the ongoing row that has overshadowed the team's World Cup win.
Manager Jorge Vilda remains the only member of coaching staff to remain in situ.
It comes amid reports that multiple members of coaching staff were allegedly forced to sit in the front row during Friday's press conference - a speech in which Rubiales insisted he would not quit.
The latest show of solidarity follows the news Spanish FA president Rubiales has been suspended by FIFA after kissing forward Jenni Hermoso at the World Cup final.
Assistant managers Montse Tome, Javier Lerga and Eugenio Gonzalo Martin were among those stepping down, with physio Blanca Romero Moraleda and goalkeeping coach Carlos Sanchez also quitting in support.
Six other members of coaching staff involved with the national side at various age levels have also now stepped down.
In an official statement, the staff members said: "Those named below express their firm and resounding condemnation of the conduct shown by the RFEF president.
"He offered a story that does not reflect in any way what was felt by Jenni Hermoso, who has expressly stated that she felt she was the 'victim of aggression'.
"Given the unacceptable attitudes and statements made by the president, they have made the decision to relieve themselves of their duties."
Rubiales will not be able to take part in any football-related activities for 90 days, according to the governing body's disciplinary committee.
FIFA took the extraordinary move to protect "the fundamental rights of the national soccer team player Ms. Jennifer Hermoso and the good order of the disciplinary proceedings", it said.
Members of the country's football federation (RFEF) have also been told not to contact Hermoso.
FIFA added that it "reiterates its absolute commitment to respect the integrity of all persons and therefore condemns with the utmost vigor any behavior to the contrary."
Luis Rubiales has refused to quit despite pressure from the women's team, several major Spanish clubs and even the country's government.
Luis Rubiales justifications for World Cup final kiss 'reeks'
The RFEF today vowed legal action against Hermoso and accused her of lying about whether she had consented in the kiss.
The World Cup-winning squad has vowed to stop playing while he remains in post, with Hermoso slamming the federation's “manipulative, hostile and controlling culture".
Rubiales was also seen grabbing his crotch while standing near Queen Letizia of Spain and her 16-year-old daughter Princess Infanta Sofia at Stadium Australia last weekend.
"I will not resign, I will not resign," he told an extraordinary general assembly called by the RFEF on Friday. "A social assassination is taking place here."
Rubiales apologised for the kiss on Monday before FIFA, world football's governing body, opened disciplinary proceedings against him on Thursday.
"I'm ready to be vilified to defend my ideals," he added.
Spanish FA President Luis Rubiales' unconsensual kiss at women's World Cup final 'isn't a big deal’.