Spanish Soccer Pres Refuses To Resign After Grabbing Crotch In Front Of Royalty, Allegedly Kissing Player Without Consent

The president of Spain’s soccer federation, Luis Rubiales, is refusing to step down from his position despite a wave of backlash in the wake of the Women’s World Cup final, according to Friday reports.

Rubiales is under fire for apparently grabbing his crotch and kissing one of the Spanish women’s soccer players, Jenni Hermoso, on the lips seemingly without her consent following Spain’s win against England on Aug. 20. Rubiales, who took over as president of the federation in 2018, has been facing calls for his resignation in the aftermath of the kiss, Fox Sports reported.

The Spanish soccer president said the individuals calling for his resignation are “false feminists,” per the Associated Press (AP). Rubiales delivered remarks Friday at an emergency general assembly of the federation.

Megan Rapinoe, who missed a crucial penalty in the U.S. Women’s final World Cup game, called Rubiales’ kiss “physical assault” and his apparent crotch-grabbing a “signal of a deep level of misogyny and sexism,” according to Daily Mail. (RELATED: ‘Arrogant Narcissist’: Megan Rapinoe Blasted By Unlikely Pair After Disgusting Video Resurfaces)

Rubiales, standing next to Queen Letizia of Spain and 16-year old Princess Sofía, can be seen in a video apparently grabbing his crotch during the World Cup celebrations. He has since apologized for the gesture, calling it a moment of “euphoria,” according to AP.

“My desire in that moment was exactly the same as if I’d have been kissing one of my daughters,” Rubiales said about the kiss he gave Hermoso, according to ESPN. “No more or less. Everybody understands that. It was a spontaneous kiss, mutual, euphoric and consensual. That’s the key.”

Rubiales said multiple times during the assembly that he is unwilling to give up his position as president, AP reported. “I won’t resign,” the federation president declared. Rubiales issued an initial apology for his behavior, but the acting Prime Minister of Spain said his apology was “insufficient and inadequate,” according to ESPN.