Spanish FA boss Luis Rubiales refuses to quit blaming 'false feminism' amid outrage over World Cup kiss

25 August 2023, 11:48 | Updated: 31 August 2023, 15:31

Luis Rubiales has refused to stand down.
Luis Rubiales has refused to stand down. Picture: Alamy
EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

Spanish Football Federation president Luis Rubiales has refused to resign following his behaviour at the Women's World Cup final, blaming 'false feminism' for a 'social murder' against him.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

Rubiales sparked outrage when he kissed Spanish player Jenni Hermoso on the mouth as she collected her medal following the 1-0 win over England in Sydney.

Footage also emerged that showed Rubiales grabbing his crotch while standing near Queen Letizia of Spain and her 16-year-old daughter Princess Infanta Sofia.

"I will not resign, I will not resign," he told an extraordinary general assembly called by the RFEF. "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," added Rubiales.

Read more: ‘I had my star before the game started’: Olga Carmona’s heartbreaking tribute to father after Spain's World Cup triumph

Read more: Fans left ‘devastated’ after waiting to see Lionesses arrive at Heathrow - but team left by a ‘private’ door

Jenni Hermoso was kissed by FA boss Luis Rubiales
Jenni Hermoso was kissed by FA boss Luis Rubiales. Picture: Alamy

The 46-year-old has been under immense pressure to leave his post since he grabbed Hermoso and kissed her on the lips during the awards ceremony following Spain's victory.

Fifa, soccer's global governing body and organiser of the Women's World Cup, opened a disciplinary case against him on Thursday.

Its disciplinary committee was tasked with weighing whether Rubiales violated its code relating to "the basic rules of decent conduct" and "behaving in a way that brings the sport of football and/or Fifa into disrepute".

That move came after Spain's acting Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said that Rubiales' attempt to apologise, which came after he initially insulted his critics, was unconvincing, and that "he must continue taking further steps" to be held accountable.

Spain's Higher Council of Sports, the nation's governing sports body, pledged it would act quickly to consider various formal complaints filed against Rubiales to see if he had broken Spain's sports law or the federation's own code of conduct that sanction sexist acts.

If so, Rubiales would face being declared unfit to hold his office by Spain's Administrative Court for Sports.

The combination of the gesture and the unsolicited kiss caused Rubiales to be described as a national embarrassment after his conduct was broadcast to a global audience, marring the Spanish team's accomplishment.

Read more: Donald Trump offers T-shirt with historic mugshot for $47 as he claims jail 'worse than you could even imagine'

Read more: Sunak hails 'really good news' as energy bills to fall by £150 in relief for families hoping to avoid another expensive winter

The incident occured at the Spain v England: Final - FIFA Women's World Cup
The incident occured at the Spain v England: Final - FIFA Women's World Cup. Picture: Getty

Speaking about the kiss during a locker-room celebration which was streamed on social media immediately after the incident, Hermoso, a 33-year-old forward and key contributor to Spain's victory, said: "I did not like it, but what could I do?"

The first attempt to respond to the scandal was a statement it released in the name of Hermoso in which she downplayed the incident.

Later, a local media report by sports website said that the federation had coerced her into making the statement. The federation has denied this.

On Wednesday, Hermoso issued a statement through her players' union saying it would speak on her behalf.

The union said it would do all it could to ensure that the kiss does "not go unpunished".

Rubiales has received no public support from any major sports figure, and political parties have united in calling for him to resign.

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

Dwelaniyah Robinson

Mum accused of murdering her son ‘beat him with a bamboo cane because the Bible told her to’, court hears

Ben McBean (centre) lost his arm and his leg to a Taliban bomb

'How disabled do I have to be?': War hero Ben McBean, who lost his arm and leg in Afghanistan, ‘stripped of blue badge’

General Sir Patrick Sanders was given a dressing down for his remarks

Army chief’s call for citizen army ‘infuriated’ No10 as top general called in for ‘dressing down’

South Korea Koreas Tensions

South Korean and US troops will begin major exercises next week

Texas Wildfires

Texas nuclear weapons facility pauses operations as wildfires spread

Election 2024 Michigan

Joe Biden and Donald Trump win Michigan primaries

James Cleverly announced the £31m package.

Home Office unveils £31m security package as Cleverly vows to 'protect MPs from intimidation'

World leaders have rejected Macron's idea.

World leaders reject Macron’s plan to send Nato troops to Ukraine in bid to stop 'Russia winning the war'

The pair speak about their relationship in the new doc.

Inside Jennifer Lopez’s rekindled romance with Ben Affleck: J Lo reveals reason pair reunited after years apart

Some of the renovation requests on his £7m home have been rejected.

Gordon Ramsay faces renovation setback on £7m home as council rejects chef's bid for new security gates

Salvatore Mancuso

Warlord Mancuso is extradited back to Colombia after serving sentence in US

Jam Master Jay

Godson and friend convicted in murder of Run-DMC rapper Jam Master Jay

Two men have been convicted over the murder of Jam Master Jay.

Run-DMC star Jam Master Jay's godson and childhood friend both found guilty of his murder

Jair Bolsonaro

Bolsonaro under investigation for allegedly harassing a humpback whale

A lawyer who represented 'murdered' Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny has been arrested in Moscow, Russian news has reported

Navalny's lawyer 'arrested in Moscow' after helping Russian opposition leader's mother obtain body from authorities

Former Tory MP Scott Benton has been suspended from the Commons.

Former Tory MP suspended from Commons over role in lobbying sting as Rishi Sunak faces fresh by-election headache