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Luis Rubiales announces resignation as president of Spanish soccer federation after kiss scandal

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(NEW YORK) — Luis Rubiales, the president of Spain’s soccer federation, announced his resignation on Sunday, following weeks of uproar over an unwanted kiss involving Women’s World Cup champion Jenni Hermoso.

In a post on X, formerly known Twitter, Rubiales announced he’s resigning as president of the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF).

“After the fast suspension from FIFA and the rest of the open declarations against my character, it’s evident that I cannot return to my position,” he said in a letter regarding his resignation. “Insisting on staying and waiting and clinging to it is not going to contribute anything positive, neither to the Federation nor to Spanish football. Among other things, because there are powers that be that will prevent my return.”

Rubiales said he will also resign as vice president of the Union of European Football Associations.

Minutes before his resignation announcement, Rubiales told Piers Morgan he was going to step down from his position following the scandal at this year’s Women’s World Cup.

“I cannot continue my work,” Rubiales said.

Morgan posted a clip of his interview with Rubiales on X on Sunday, where he said he spoke with his family and friends before deciding to step down from his position.

Rubiales ignited a firestorm on Aug. 20 in Sydney after he was seen kissing Hermoso on the lips at a ceremony after Spain defeated England in this year’s World Cup.

The now-former RFEF president was initially defiant about stepping down from his position.

In a speech last month to the general assembly of the federation defending his actions, Rubiales apologized but passionately defended himself from the accusations.

“The little kiss was spontaneous, mutual, euphoric and consensual,” he said.

Rubiales argued that Hermoso lifted him from the ground and hugged him on the podium, and said she was still sad about the second-half penalty saved by England goalkeeper Mary Earps during the match.

“Jenni lifted me from the ground, held me close, and after comforting her, I asked her for a piquito, a small kiss, and she said fine,” Rubiales said. “Do you believe I deserve this hunt? Does this deserve my resignation? Let me tell you something, I will not resign.”

Hermoso accused Rubiales of sexual assault for the unwanted kiss and has pressed charges, according to ESPN.

She said in a statement in August that the “kiss was not consensual” and that she “felt vulnerable and the victim of aggression, an impulsive, sexist act,” according to ESPN.

ABC News’ Camilla Alcini contributed to this report.

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