'I will not resign': Spain's football chief refuses to quit over player kiss

AFP - [email protected]
'I will not resign': Spain's football chief refuses to quit over player kiss
Rubiales said the "peck" he gave Hermoso was "mutual, euphoric and consented" . Photo: PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/AFP

Spanish football chief Luis Rubiales refused to resign on Friday after a week of heavy criticism he referred to as a "witch hunt" for his unsolicited kiss on the lips of player Jenni Hermoso following Spain's Women's World Cup triumph.


"I will not resign, I will not resign, I will not resign," shouted Rubiales at an emergency meeting of the football federation.

"A consensual 'peck' is enough to get me out of here? I will fight until the end," he added.


Rubiales, 46, was expected to step down as president of the Spanish football federation (RFEF) after government ministers and figures within sport demanded his resignation and world football's governing body FIFA opened disciplinary proceedings against him.

He said the pressure he has received this week from politicians and clubs was an attempt "to publicly assassinate me" and said he would defend himself by "taking action" against those people.

The RFEF chief claimed his kiss on Hermoso's lips was consensual and done in the same spirit as kissing his child.

PROFILE: Who is Spain's disgraced football chief Luis Rubiales?

"It was a spontaneous kiss, mutual, euphoric, and consensual," said Rubiales.

The president did apologise for grabbing his crotch during the celebrations of the 1-0 win against England in the final while standing next to Spanish Queen Letizia.

"I want to say sorry for the deeds that happened in a moment of euphoria, I grabbed that part of my body and did so looking at Jorge Vilda (the coach)," Rubiales said.

"I was so emotional, I lost control and I took my hands there."

Rubiales also said he had started the process of offering controversial Spain women's coach Jorge Vilda a new deal on a €500,000 ($540,000) salary.

Spain arrived at the tournament in Australia and New Zealand shrouded in controversy, after 15 players refused to play because of disagreements with the federation and Vilda, although some relented and three formed part of the winning squad.

Spanish football chief Luis Rubiales' speech and refusal to resign was "unacceptable," said Spain's second deputy prime minister Yolanda
Diaz on Friday.

"The government must act and take urgent measures: impunity for macho actions is over. Rubiales cannot continue in office," said Diaz on social media network X, formerly known as Twitter.

READ ALSO: Sacking of Spain's football boss looms as FIFA opens probe



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