Luis Rubiales is to resign as president of the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) this Friday. As radio station La Cope has reported, he will announce that he is leaving his position at the special assembly of the federation called after the controversy over the non-consensual kiss on the mouth which he imposed on Spanish footballer Jennifer Hermoso at the medal ceremony for last Sunday's Women's World Cup final. Rubiales has been under ever-growing political and social pressure to take this step. However, his resignation will also prevent Spain's Sports Administrative Tribunal (TAD) from banning him as a sports adminstrator for having breached the Spanish sporting law with his behaviour.
Rubiales loses support
The controversy has lasted for more than four days, without Rubiales showing any sign of wanting to resign. The special assembly of the organization that he presides over, called for this Friday at noon, was calculated to be a space in which he could strengthen his position with the support of the territorial presidents, but in the end, it will be the place where he announces his departure. Several individual clubs had announced that they would not attend, and even the Basque football federation has decided to snub Rubiales, but today's announcement by FIFA that it is opening an inquiry into the Spanish football administrator for breaching its disciplinary code has, it seems, been the last straw. Luis Rubiales has gradually lost support within the Spanish football establishment, including further territorial presidents, so he could not risk a vote in the assembly, and has decided to make the decision himself.
With the resignation, Rubiales also wants to avoid a possible ban from holding positions in football administration by the TAD, after Spain's sports minister, Miquel Iceta, confirmed that the the country's Higher Sports Council would present the allegations to the tribunal next week.
Who will replace Luis Rubiales?
If the resignation of Rubiales becomes effective, the great unknown is who could replace him until the next elections of the Federation, which are due to take place in the second semester of 2024. According to the newspaper Sport, it will be Rubiales himself who appoints his successor The best placed candidates are Pablo Lozano, president of the Andalusian federation, Pedro Rocha, president of the Extremadura federation, and Rafael del Amo, president of the Navarra federation.