The presidents of the Spanish regional soccer federation are now calling for the resignation of Luis Rubiales, following his actions at the Women’s World Cup final.
After calling an emergency meeting, the RFEF unanimously decided to support Pedro Rocha, “to lead a new stage of dialogue and reconciliation with all of the football institutions,” the statement read.
Rocha replaced Rubiales after the FIFA Disciplinary Committee provisionally suspended the president from all football-related activities at a national and international level for 90 days. A more permanent decision on Rubiales’ future will be decided upon the results of the disciplinary proceedings opened against him on Thursday, August 24.
Additionally, the RFEF president cannot contact Jennifer Hermoso himself or by a third party as ruled by FIFA.
“After the recent events and the unacceptable behaviours that have seriously damaged the image of Spanish football, the presidents request that, immediately, Mr. Luis Rubiales submits his resignation as president of the RFEF [Royal Spanish Football Federation]”, the RFEF said on behalf of the committee of regional presidents.
The consequences come after the RFEF president kissed Hermoso on the lips without her consent in the aftermath of Spain's Women's World Cup final win over England. Though Rubiales issued a public apology, vowing to "learn from this" after a furious backlash against his actions at Stadium Australia, he refused to resign from his post.
He said in a press conference: "The time has come to say something. I was wrong and it was not the time to make that gesture. Do you think it is serious enough for me to suffer through this hunt? Is it serious enough for me to leave?
"I am not going to resign. I am not going to resign. I am not going to resign. What have I done? I'm going to fight until the end. I want to explain this peck, not a kiss, a peck. The feeling behind that kiss was the same with which I would give my daughter a kiss. There was no dominance.”
During that same speech, Rubiales insisted the kiss was "spontaneous, mutual and consensual", stating that "she told me, 'You are a star', and I said, 'A little peck?' and it happened."
Hermoso responded to the odd statement on consent by confirming its false nature: “I felt vulnerable and a victim of an impulse-driven, sexist, out of place act without any consent on my part. Simply put, I was not respected.”
The entire Spanish national team has come out in support of Hermoso, signing a petition not to play again for the country until the football federation President resigns from his position. Players of the men’s national team have signed and shared similar declarations of support, while several La Liga team presidents release statements against Rubiales.
Around the world, players boast the #ContigoJenny and #SeAcabo hashtags to show allegiance.