Luis Rubiales (pictured), the president of the Spanish Football Association, who caused controversy by giving a deep kiss to a player at the FIFA Women’s World Cup awards ceremony last month, is finally resigning.
President Rubiales said in a statement released on the 11th that “his letter of resignation has been submitted to the current acting president of the Spanish Football Association.” He added, “I will also step down from my position as Vice President of UEFA.”
President Rubiales hugged and kissed player Henifer Hermoso on the podium after Spain won the Women’s World Cup last month. This unexpected kissing scene, which felt quite extreme, quickly spread around the world on social media and expanded into criticism of Spanish macho culture. Chairman Rubiales claimed that ‘it was an act with Hermoso’s consent,’ but Hermoso denied this.
In the end, President Rubiales was suspended from office for 90 days by FIFA, and Spanish prosecutors are conducting a preliminary investigation into whether he committed sexual crimes.
Chairman Rubiales has been under pressure to resign from the global sports community since the ‘Kissing Gate’ scandal broke out, but he has consistently ‘held on’ and announced his intention to resign for the first time on this day. He explained the reason for his resignation, saying, “Standing on (the stance of refusing to resign) while waiting (for the results of the investigation) will have a negative impact on the Spanish Football Association.” There is analysis that his decision to resign may have been influenced by the situation in which Spain is competing to host the 2030 FIFA World Cup along with Portugal, Morocco, and Ukraine.
Chairman Rubiales did not change his stance that the kiss was an act with Hermoso’s consent, emphasizing that “we will do our best to ensure that the truth prevails.”
Meanwhile, there is also analysis that this incident could be a catalyst for changing Spain’s ‘macho culture’. The British BBC reported the news of Chairman Rubiales’ resignation and analyzed, “This macho culture has been a chronic problem in the Spanish sports world.”
Even before this incident, the recently dismissed coach of the Spanish women’s national team, Jorge Bilda, had previously received backlash from players for his coercive leadership style. She also says that until three years ago, athletes were not allowed to lock their hotel rooms before midnight while competing in international competitions.
Spanish soccer journalist Guillem Balaguer said the Spanish media and society had “not paid enough attention” to these issues, adding, “(Spain) is only now understanding that there is a systematic atmosphere (in sports) that treats women as secondary beings.” “he said.
Balague said, “No one said the World Cup would be a catalyst (for change),” and said the events sparked by this incident were surprising.안전놀이터
Spanish Deputy Prime Minister and Labor Minister Yolanda Diaz criticized the male chauvinism prevalent in the sports world, saying that Rubiales’ actions showed them in their worst form. Spanish women took part in a street protest in downtown Madrid at the end of last month, calling for women’s human rights to be guaranteed. Balague said, “It was a socio-political tsunami that everyone could benefit from in the medium to long term.”
“It’s about what kind of football we want, who elects the president and what the role of women is in sport,” said Pedro Malavia, head of planning and strategy for the Spanish women’s soccer league. “We need to get the right people in the right places at the right time.” “Arrangement is important,” he explained.