- Luis Rubiales will resign as head of the Spanish association after the “Kiss Gate” scandal
- Spanish star Jennifer Hermoso said she did not consent to Rubiales’ kiss
Disgraced Spanish Football Federation boss Luis Rubiales has insisted he kissed Jennifer Hermoso the way he would kiss one of his daughters.
Rubiales has been at the center of intense controversy since he kissed Hermoso on the lips after Spain won the Women’s World Cup final in Sydney last month.
The 46-year-old faced calls for his resignation following the incident. Protests against his presidency erupted across Spain and high-profile figures from across the world of football and beyond called for his resignation.
FIFA initially gave him a 90-day ban and is pushing for a longer ban. The Spanish Football Association publicly apologized for his behavior.
Rubiales finally announced on Monday that he was stepping down from his position, but in an interview with Piers Morgan to be broadcast on Tuesday evening, he steadfastly insisted that he meant nothing bad by kissing Hermoso.
Disgraced Spanish Football Federation boss Luis Rubiales has insisted he meant no harm to Jennifer Hermoso after the Women’s World Cup final
Rubiales (right) kissed Hermoso as she accepted her medal after Spain beat England in the Women’s World Cup final last month
Rubiales said he kissed Hermoso the way he would kiss one of his daughters
“There was no harm, no sexual content, no aggression, nothing like that,” Rubiales told Piers Morgan Uncensored.
“The kiss would have had exactly the same meaning for Jenni as the kiss would have for one of my daughters.”
“This is very, very common among friends and family.”
He added: “Under no circumstances was there any aggression and under no circumstances was there any sexual content.”
“I want to say again, Piers, I made a mistake. I apologize, but to be clear: Under no circumstances is this sexual aggression.”
Rubiales described the kiss as “a very happy moment, a celebration, a euphoric moment” but admits that he “should have acted more solemnly, coldly and diplomatically.”
Hermoso filed a formal complaint last week before returning to Mexico, where she plays her club soccer, and prosecutors announced Friday that they had submitted her formal complaint to a judge at the Audiencia Nacional court in Madrid.
The outgoing Spanish Football Association president insisted the kiss was consensual and described it as a “kiss”.
Rubiales still faces criminal prosecution for sexual harassment and coercion over his “unsolicited kiss” after Spain’s National Court – the country’s highest court – opened a preliminary investigation into Rubiales’ behavior.
But the head of the Spanish Football Federation defiantly claims the truth will “come out” in a criminal investigation.
“I firmly believe that the truth will come out and everything will be okay.” “Look at my face, I’m a good guy,” he said.
Rubiales (left) announced his retirement in an exclusive interview with Piers Morgan (right).
The disgraced Spanish federation boss insisted that an investigation would reveal the truth
Rubiales also told Morgan that he spoke with his daughters Lucía, Ana and Elena, as well as his father and his friends, before making the decision to step down after weeks of holding on to the post.
“I’ve spoken to my daughters and they know it’s not about me. They say I need to focus on my dignity and my life. “In this situation, that’s exactly what I have to do,” he said.
“Some friends who are very close to me said: “Luis, you have to focus on your dignity and move on with your life, otherwise you will harm the people you love and the sport you love.”
World Cup-winning coach Jorge Vilda was removed from his post following Rubiales’ suspension, shortly after the outgoing president offered him a new contract.