Updated Aug 29, 2023 - Sports

Spanish soccer federation's regional leaders call on president to resign

Royal Spanish Football Federation president Luis Rubiales at the FIFA Women's World Cup in Auckland, New Zealand, earlier this month. Photo: Maja Hitij - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images

The Spanish football federation's regional leaders asked their president Luis Rubiales to resign Monday with immediate effect for kissing a soccer player on the lips at the Women's World Cup.

Details: "After the latest events and the unacceptable behaviours that have seriously damaged the image of Spanish football, we request that Mr. Luis Rubiales immediately present his resignation as president of the Spanish football federation," per a statement from the heads of the regional bodies that comprise the federation, the RFEF.

The big picture: Rubiales grabbed player Jenni Hermoso's head and kissed her on the lips after the Spanish team, La Roja, won the Women's World Cup final in Sydney last week.

  • The players announced in response that they would not play for as long as Rubiales remained president of the RFEF, also known as the Royal Spanish Football Federation.
  • Spain's National Court's prosecutors office announced Monday it's opened a preliminary probe into whether the incident was a sexual aggression offense.

Meanwhile, Rubiales' mother, Angeles Bejar, locked herself inside a church in Motril, southern Spain, and went on hunger strike in a show of support for her son, per Reuters.

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Editor's note: This article has been updated with details of Angeles Bejar's protest and details of prosecutors' investigation.

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