Opinion: Luis Rubiales’ resignation should have come a lot sooner

Twenty-one days after non-consensually kissing Jenni Hermoso, Luis Rubiales finally resigned as Spanish FA President – and it couldn’t have come sooner.

The past three weeks should have been a celebration of Spain’s victory but instead, thanks to Rubiales’ disgustingly inappropriate actions, a huge moment in history has been completely overshadowed.

We’ve seen Rubiales’ mother go on hunger strike and the Spanish FA release fake statements on Hermoso’s behalf.

In a press conference five days after the final, Rubiales was widely expected to announce his resignation but he took the opportunity to humiliate himself even further, repeatedly shouting, “I will not resign!” – claiming he was a victim of social assassination and threatening legal action against Hermoso for lying.

He was applauded off the stage by a predominantly male audience consisting of the Spanish Federation, Jorge Vilda (prior to his dismissal as head coach), and Spanish journalists. 

It was an uncomfortable watch to say the least.

The ongoing issues behind closed doors makes me believe this kiss scandal was just the tip of the iceberg for the Spanish players.

Prior to the World Cup 15 Spanish players including Ballon d’Or winner Alexia Putellas refused to play in the games leading up to the tournament.

This was due to coach Jorge Vilda’s controlling behaviour – reports say he would make the girls sleep with their hotel doors open so he could monitor them 24/7.

Vilda was sacked on 5 September by interim President Pedro Rocha, who took Rubiales’ place after FIFA suspended him for 90 days.

Seventy-nine players, including all 23 World Cup winners, signed a statement released by players union FUTPRO stating they will not play again for Spain until changes are made.

Rubiales oddly announced his resignation during an interview with Piers Morgan. Knowing he had the opportunity to resign in front of his respective colleagues a few weeks back to me is a very odd decision and one that should have happened a lot sooner.

In the past week Hermoso pressed charges of sexual assault against Rubiales and although he has now resigned this is just the first step and I hope she receives the justice she deserves.

Sadly it was at Hermoso’s expense – but it shows how powerful everyone’s voices become in solidarity.

Image: Luis Rubiales in 2022. Image by deportebalear via Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)

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