Rubiales has faced calls to quit after kissing striker Jenni Hermoso on the lips in celebration shortly after the final whistle as Spain beat England on Sunday.
The Spanish Football Federation president Luis Rubiales has refused to step down from his role following a FIFA probe and widespread criticism over his conduct after the Women’s World Cup final.
Rubiales has faced calls to quit after kissing striker Jenni Hermoso on the lips and grabbing his crotch in celebration shortly after the final whistle as Spain beat England on Sunday.
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FIFA opened disciplinary proceedings on Thursday against the 46-year-old, who chaired an extraordinary RFEF assembly on Friday.
“I’m not going to resign, I’m not going to resign, I’m NOT going to resign, I’m NOT going to resign, I’m not going to resign,” Rubiales declared on stage at the RFEF meeting.
“And I’ll tell you more: I’ve received a lot of pressure as well, not just you. A lot of comments have come to me. They’ve told me that the best thing would be to resign because if not, probably on Monday it would occur to someone to kick me out of the forum, find the formula.
“But we’re in a country where the law rules, where there has to be a motive to take you out of some place. And I say: what is it I’ve done? A consensual peck is enough to get me out of here?”
Hermoso, while watching a video of the incident with her team-mates in an Instagram live broadcast in the dressing room after Spain’s 1-0 win over England, said on the kiss: “Yeah (it happened), but I didn’t like it.”
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“The kiss, the peck. I want to give my explanation too,” Rubiales continued. “Of course, whoever sees the video, in front of millions of people, on television, in front of my family, in front of my daughters, the desire I had with that kiss is the same as the one I would give to one of my daughters.
“Therefore, there is no desire as the media sells it by paying obeisance to Mr Tebas as false feminism (applause). It was consensual. This player missed a penalty, we have been a family for a month and we have been very affectionate in this concentration and I told her, ‘You have to be very proud of who your father is’.
“The moment Jenni arrived I got up from the ground, I got close to her body, we almost fell and I told her not to worry. And she said ‘you’re a crack’ and I said ‘a peck?’.
“From there we went on to the player’s silence and a statement that I don’t quite understand. A social assassination is being carried out, they are trying to kill me. As a Spaniard, we have to reflect on where we are going”.
“For the last five years, I have suffered persecution. I said it when I arrived here: some powerful people are going to be annoyed that I am here.
“I am talking to my three daughters. False feminism doesn’t seek justice, it doesn’t care about people. They are preparing an execution to put on a medal, but that’s not the way forward.”
The president officially apologised for his actions in a video message following Sunday’s 1-0 win over England, but continued to face calls to resign from several high-profile individuals in Spanish sport and society.
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The global players’ union FIFPRO released a statement on Wednesday calling for immediate action to be taken.
“It is deeply lamentable that such a special moment … should be stained by the inappropriate conduct of an individual in a role carrying so much responsibility,” the union said.
Spain’s High Council for Sports (CSD) had received complaints about Rubiales and world football’s governing body intervened on Thursday.
FIFA’s disciplinary code, which it referenced in its statement confirming proceedings had been opened against Rubiales, notes that measures may be taken against for anyone “violating the basic rules of decent conduct” or “insulting a natural or legal person in any way, especially by using offensive gestures, signs or language”.
The RFEF later released a statement to Spanish news agency EFE, which quoted Hermoso as saying she had no problem with what was “a mutual gesture that was totally spontaneous due to the immense joy of winning a World Cup”.
Hermoso, later speaking through the Spanish women’s players’ union and her agency on Thursday, said: “My Union FUTPRO, in coordination with my agency TMJ, are taking care of defending my interests and being the intermediaries on this subject.”
Rubiales has also been criticised by acting prime minister, Pedro Sanchez, and culture and sport minister, Miquel Iceta, as the backlash continued.
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