Spanish soccer chief Luis Rubiales said, he would “fight to the end” and refused to resign from his position as Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) president. Rubiales came under the scanner for kissing Spain's star player Jennifer Hermoso.
Rubiales planted the kiss after Spain won the Women’s World Cup 1-0 against England. After 33-year-old Hermoso collected her winner's medal, she said the kiss was something she “didn’t like” and “didn’t expect.”
On Monday Rubiales said that the kiss was a mistake. However, criticism kept pouring in from the soccer world and Spanish politicians, including Spain’s Prime Minister, Pedro Sánchez. Sanchez said the apology for the “unacceptable gesture” was “not enough.”
Rubiales said he was being 'socially murdered' in a witch hunt by 'false feminists'. He also said the kiss was consensual. “It was a spontaneous kiss … It was spontaneous, mutual, euphoric and with consent, which is the key. This is the key to all of the criticism, of all of the campaign which has been mounted in this country: that it was without consent. No. It was with consent,” he said.
Rubiales said he wanted to console Hermoso, who had missed a penalty. “I told her, ‘You were fantastic, we wouldn’t have won this World Cup without you,’” he explained. “She replied to me, ‘You are awesome.’ And I said, ‘A small peck?’ And she said, ‘OK,’” CNN reported.
International football governing body FIFA said that it had opened disciplinary proceedings against Rubiales.