Luis Rubiales: Spanish football federation calls for president to resign over World Cup kiss

Luis Rubiales: Spanish football federation calls for president to resign over World Cup kiss

The Spanish football federation has called for its president Luis Rubiales to resign following his controversial kiss at the Women’s World Cup final.

Mr Rubiales has faced widespread criticism after he kissed player Jenni Hermoso on the lips following Spain’s victory in the final.

In a statement on Monday evening, the Spanish football federation RFEF said that after “the unacceptable behaviors that have seriously damaged the image of Spanish football”, Mr Rubiales is asked to “immediately present his resignation as president”.

The announcement came after the RFEF had called an “extraordinary and urgent” meeting to discuss the situation.

The federation also requested “a deep and imminent organic restructuring in strategic positions of the federation to give way to a new stage of management in Spanish football”.

Hundreds of people gathered in downtown Madrid at protests called by feminist groups on Monday in support of Hermoso and against Mr Rubiales.

Protesters called for his resignation, chanting: “It’s not a kiss, it is aggression.”

One of the demonstrators, Carlota Andreas, told Sky News: “I think it’s important that everyone comes here and protests against these people [in football], not just [Luis] Rubiales, everybody.

“It’s unacceptable what he did. He should say goodbye and a woman should be there [to replace him].”

Another protester, Rosario Noguira, said: “Mr Rubiales doesn’t know that Spain has changed. He has committed such a big mistake.

“Football is one of the big headquarters of the ‘machismo’ [sexism] in this country, so that’s why I think this is a ‘me too’ moment.”

Spanish prosecutors have opened inquiries into the kiss, saying they believe the facts of the case may constitute an offence of sexual harassment.

The prosecutors’ office said Hermoso now has 15 days to make a formal complaint.

It added that it had opened pre-trial inquiries because of “public statements made by Jenni Hermoso that the sexual act she experienced and was carried out by Mr Rubiales was non-consensual”.

Hermoso has said in “no moment” did she consent to the kiss.