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Suspended Spanish soccer federation president Luis Rubiales resigns after kiss scandal at World Cup

The president of the Spanish soccer federation Luis Rubiales speaks during an emergency general assembly meeting in Las Rozas, Spain, Friday Aug. 25, 2023. The kiss by Luis Rubiales has unleashed a storm of fury over gender equality that almost marred the unprecedented victory but now looks set to go down as a milestone in both Spanish soccer history but also in women's rights. (Real Federacion Espanola de Futbol/Europa Press via AP)

MADRID (AP) — Suspended Spanish soccer federation president Luis Rubiales has resigned from his post after a kiss scandal which tarnished Spain’s victory at the Women’s World Cup.

Rubiales announced his resignation Sunday in a message posted on X, formerly known as Twitter.

“After my swift suspension by FIFA, and the rest of the cases building against me, it is clear that I cannot return to the post,” Rubiales said in his statement.

Rubiales kissed star player Jenni Hermoso on the lips without her consent during the awards ceremony after Spain beat England to win the title on Aug. 20 in Sydney, Australia.

Spanish state prosecutors accused Rubiales of sexual assault and coercion after the unwanted kiss, the country’s prosecutors’ office said Friday, two days after Hermoso formally accused him of sexual assault.

He had already been suspended from his job by FIFA for his conduct at the final.

Rubiales said he also resigned as UEFA vice president.

Rubiales said that he had told interim Spanish federation president Pedro Rocha — who replaced him when Rubiales was suspended on Aug. 26 — of his resignation late Sunday night.

Rubiales, 46, is a former player and head of Spain’s main players union. He had run the federation since 2018.

Also Sunday, Rubiales said “I am going to (resign), I cannot continue my work,” in reply to a question from TV host Piers Morgan on Britain’s TalkTV. Clips from the show were released Sunday.


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