The Spanish Football Federation has apologized for president Luis Rubiales’ “totally unacceptable” behavior after he kissed Jenni Hermoso on the lips following Spain’s victory over England in the Women’s World Cup.
Rubiales was criticized for his conduct in the aftermath of Spain’s famous triumph as Hermoso turned out to receive their winner’s medal, which caused an outcry in the footballing world.
He has already been suspended by FIFA for three months And Mail Sport have revealed the governing body are pushing for a 15-year ban of all football – the Spanish regional presidents now pushing for his resignation.
The national football federation today pressured Rubiales with a damning statement, led by interim chief Pedro Rocha, calling the saga ’embarrassing’ and which has ‘tarnished our sport’.
“The Royal Spanish Football Federation, through the voice of its President, Mr. Pedro Rocha, considers it essential to offer the most sincere apologies for the totally unacceptable behavior of its highest institutional representative during the Cup final FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 and the moments that followed.
The Spanish Football Federation has apologized for the “totally unacceptable” behavior of president Luis Rubiales.
Rubiales sparked outrage by kissing Jenni Hermoso after Spain won the World Cup final in Australia
“Spanish society is an example of tolerance and civility, in all social and political spheres, and has been an example of sporting behavior and decorum, as it has demonstrated for decades in all the sporting events to which it has participated.
“The nobility and international prestige of our society and our sport have been tarnished in recent days by the actions of Mr. Luis Rubiales. The damage caused to Spanish football, to Spanish sport, to Spanish society and to the values of football and of sport as a whole have been enormous.
“The RFEF wishes to express to the whole of society and to the whole of world football its deepest regrets for what has happened, which has tarnished our national team, our football and our society.
“We are deeply sorry for the damage caused and we must therefore ask for the most sincere apologies and make the firm and absolute commitment that such events can never happen again.”
The governing body reiterated they had taken action by opening disciplinary proceedings against Rubiales and said their actions did not represent Spanish football and society – expressing regret for disrupting a celebration of women’s football.
The country’s governing body said Rubiales’ behavior disrupted what should have been a celebratory moment for Spanish football.
“Both the governing body of the world of football, FIFA, and the bodies responsible for sport in Spain immediately adopted the appropriate measures, opening disciplinary proceedings against Mr. Rubiales and, in the case of FIFA’s decision, the immediate suspension of his duties as president of the RFEF,” the statement added.
“We are particularly saddened and embarrassed by the additional suffering and distress this has caused. The actions of Mr. Rubiales do not represent the values defended by the Spanish Federation, nor the values of Spanish society as a whole, and his actions must be attributed solely and exclusively to him, since he is solely responsible for his actions before society, before sports authorities and, where appropriate, before the courts.
“We are sorry that this incident disrupted what should have been an ongoing celebration of football, both for our national team and for the Lionesses of England, who were a truly remarkable rival in a thrilling final.”
Rubiales continues to fight attempts by the Spanish FA to suspend him and refuses to step down after insisting the kiss was consensual, saying he was a ‘victim of political and media lynching’.
Spain’s acting Sports and Culture Minister Miquel Iceta has asked the country’s Administrative Sports Court to suspend the 46-year-old.
Hermoso has since insisted the kiss was not consensual, and dozens of Spanish players went on strike, and nearly all of the coaches quit in protest.
In Spain, the Administrative Court for Sports (TAD) has opened proceedings against the 46-year-old, but it is a “serious” rather than a “very serious” fault.
Rubiales cannot be suspended while the investigation is ongoing, but Sports and Culture Minister Miquel Iceta last week slammed the president for ‘abusing his authority’ and damaging his image Sport.
The president replied by declaring: “I am the victim of an unprecedented political and media lynching.
“I was deliberately left out. But I have presented all relevant images that show the facts. This evidence will ignore opinions and clear my name.
Spain coach Luis De La Fuente has withdrawn his support for Rubiales and apologized after he was seen applauding his vow not to quit.
He also claimed that he was “advancing the feminist cause” and that his case would be important for “real victims of assault”.
Rubiales has already been condemned by a number of voices, including Spain manager Luis de le Fuente, who initially backed him before apologizing and calling his support ‘unjustifiable’.
The Spanish men’s football team also slammed Rubiales, dismissing his “unacceptable behavior” in a group statement.
“We want to reject what we consider to be unacceptable behavior on the part of Mr. Rubiales, who has failed to live up to the institution he represents.
“We stand firmly and clearly on the side of the values that sport represents. Spanish football must be an engine of respect, inspiration, inclusion and diversity and must lead by example through its conduct on and off the pitch.