“Yes, I will do that,” said RFEF President Luis Rubiales when asked by English TV journalist Piers Morgan if he would step down. “Because I can’t continue my work.” Morgan published a short excerpt of the interview with the 46-year-old on Sunday evening on Portal X (formerly Twitter). The full episode of Piers Morgan Uncensored hasn’t aired yet.
Rubiales is still drawing the often-demanded conclusion from his behavior, which has been criticized worldwide, after the final of the Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand. At the award ceremony, he held the head of Spanish player Jennifer Hermoso with both hands and kissed her on the mouth against her will.
Hermoso filed a complaint against Rubiales last Wednesday. The public prosecutor filed a complaint of sexual assault.
Resignation also as UEFA vice-president
Spanish media, meanwhile, published a letter from Rubiales to the federation, in which he also announced his resignation as vice-president of European football’s governing body UEFA. “Following the swift suspension by FIFA and the other proceedings against me, it is evident that I will not be able to return to my post,” Rubiales said in the letter. “The insistence on waiting and staying put will not do anything positive for the federation or for Spanish football.”
Rubiales had publicly apologized for his misconduct, but initially vehemently refused to resign. The national team went on strike and world champion coach Jorge Vilda was relieved of his duties because of his close ties to Rubiales.
Last Monday, Spain’s men’s national team also publicly distanced themselves from Rubiales and called his behavior “unacceptable”. The world governing body FIFA temporarily banned him for 90 days, the national sports administration court TAD is dealing with the case. The regional football associations refused to follow him.
wa/mak (sid, dpa, afp)