Spanish FA President Luis Rubiales 'refuses to resign' following World Cup kiss scandal
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Spanish football federation President Luis Rubiales has refused to resign following that controversial kiss at the Women’s World Cup, despite reports he was being forced out.
Since then, there have been reports that he was being forced out of the role, amid claims the incident had ‘constituted violations of article 13 paragraphs 1 and 2 of the FIFA disciplinary code’.
The controversial kiss btw Luis Rubiales and Jenni Hermoso.— Humour + Sensuality + Conspiracy = Cruise. (@the_cruisetv) August 24, 2023
Luis was clearly overjoyed.
There's nothing much to it.
Besides in most European countries, kissing is a way of greeting.#FIFAWWC #FIFAWomensWorldCup2023 pic.twitter.com/h7GXomEX1c
Reporting from the RFEF live assembly supposedly announcing Rubiales' resignation, journalist Semra Hunter said the FA boss thanked everyone for their support, saying he felt there are more people who showed him support than spoke out against him.
Rubiales argued the kiss was more of a peck than a kiss ('Un pico más que un beso') and claimed there was not a position of dominance.
He doubled down on calling it a mutual, consensual and spontaneous kiss, adding that 'false feminism is a scourge for society'.
In a shock twist to proceedings, Rubiales repeatedly shouted that he is not going to stand down, and would fight until the end.
"I say, what have I done?" he asked.
"Is a consensual peck is enough to get me out of here? I will fight to the end."
After Hermoso received her medal from FIFA president Gianni Infantino, she was seen talking to Rubiales before he put his arms around her before planting an unsolicited kiss.
Many were quick to condemn the act online.
One Twitter user wrote: “There really seems to be something deeply wrong with the men in charge of Spanish Women’s football.”
Another commented: “This is disgusting! Can’t men in power just give a handshake or something?
"I don’t care what job or position you’re in but if you do ANYTHING inappropriate your a** should be out the door. No questions, no second chances.”
While a third simply said: “Can men just stop.”
Hermoso admitted on an Instagram live stream after the match that she 'didn't like' the kiss from her boss.
The former Spanish FA president proceeded to apologise for his behaviour in a video statement sent to the federation.
"Surely I was wrong, I have to admit," Rubiales said.
"It was without bad faith at a time of maximum effusiveness."
The FUTPRO union said that the midfielder had called for ‘exemplary measures’ to be taken against Rubiales.
“We are working so that the acts like the ones we witnessed don’t go unpunished, are sanctioned, and that pertinent measures are adopted to protect football players against actions that are unacceptable,” the union said, as per Al Jazeera.
Human rights organisation Amnesty International extended their support to Hermoso and the call for actions against Rubiales to be pursued.
“Amnesty International wants to show their support for the demands of the player, who has asked the (RFEF) to set underway ‘exemplary measures’ regarding the non-consensual kiss,” said the organisation in a statement.
“[We] underline that this behaviour is a form of sexual violence like any other, and cannot be justified in any way.”