Home News Demands Mount for Luis Rubiales to Step Down: Spanish Football Federation’s Regional Chiefs Call for Immediate Resignation

Demands Mount for Luis Rubiales to Step Down: Spanish Football Federation’s Regional Chiefs Call for Immediate Resignation

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Luis Rubiales controversy

The heat is intensifying for Luis Rubiales, who is grappling with calls for his ouster from various factions.

Top regional figures within the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) are insisting that their president, Luis Rubiales, vacate his position forthwith after an incident involving a non-consensual kiss with footballer Jenni Hermoso.

Rubiales, aged 46, is feeling the blowback in the aftermath of Spain’s victorious run at the Women’s World Cup. Hermoso, who is 33 years old, stated that the kiss she received was not given her consent.

In a fresh twist, legal authorities in Spain have kick-started a preliminary probe into whether Rubiales’ action could be classified as sexual assault.

Adding a surreal touch to the unfolding drama, Rubiales’ mother, Angeles Bejar, has confined herself in a local church and commenced a hunger strike, protesting what she calls the “merciless pursuit” of her son. Concurrently, mass demonstrations swelled in Madrid, rallying behind Hermoso and denouncing Rubiales.

On the global stage, FIFA—football’s international governing body—suspended Rubiales on Saturday, despite his earlier assertions that he had no intention of stepping down.

In an official communiqué on Monday, following an urgent conclave of its regional chiefs, the RFEF announced: “In light of recent events and the intolerable conduct that has egregiously tarnished the repute of Spanish football, we, the presidents, demand that Luis Rubiales relinquish his role as RFEF president immediately.” The statement also conveyed the regional presidents’ “wholehearted backing” for acting RFEF boss, Pedro Rocha, and pressed for a sweeping transformation of the federation’s internal governance.

They further declared, “We are calling upon the pertinent agencies to execute an immediate, comprehensive reorganization in the federation’s key administrative roles to usher in a new era for the governance of Spanish football.”

Stay tuned for more updates.

The Crisis Timeline: How Did We Get Here?

August 20 – During the post-match celebrations of the Women’s World Cup, Spanish striker Jenni Hermoso is hugged and then kissed on the lips by Luis Rubiales. Hermoso, visibly disturbed, later remarks during a live stream that the kiss was not to her liking.

August 21 – Amidst vehement condemnation from fellow players, media pundits, and even the Spanish Prime Minister, Rubiales offers a rather tepid apology, expressing regret “for those who felt offended” and brushing off calls for his resignation.

August 24 – FIFA initiates disciplinary proceedings to scrutinize the actions of Rubiales.

August 25 – Rubiales doubles down in a defiant tone during an RFEF emergency meeting, labeling the kiss as “consensual.”

August 25 – The Spanish government enters the fray, announcing it will initiate legal measures aimed at suspending Rubiales. The nation’s Secretary of Sport casts this as a defining #MeToo moment for Spanish football.

August 25 – Later that same day, Hermoso takes to Instagram to vehemently dispute Rubiales’ narrative, stating unequivocally that his kiss was never consensual.

August 25 – A coalition of 81 Spanish players, including every member of the Women’s World Cup squad, make a bombshell announcement: they will refuse to represent Spain until Rubiales is ousted.

August 26 – The RFEF counters by announcing it will pursue legal action against “each and every untruth disseminated.”

August 26 – FIFA unveils a provisional suspension of Rubiales while its disciplinary proceedings are pending.

August 26 – Jorge Vilda, the head coach behind Spain’s World Cup triumph, censures Rubiales, as his entire coaching team hands in their resignations in protest of the embattled president.

August 27 – The federation’s point person on sexual violence protocols confirms an internal inquiry is underway.

August 28 – In a last-ditch act of maternal defiance, Angeles Bejar, Rubiales’ mother, goes on a hunger strike within a church in his hometown of Motril.

August 28 – Spanish legal authorities commence a preliminary investigation into whether the kissing incident qualifies as a sexual assault.

Luis Rubiales Resignation

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