The regional heads of Spanish football have become the latest group to call for the resignation of Luis Rubiales from his role as president of the Spanish football federation (RFEF).
Rubiales is under fire for his conduct in the aftermath of Spain’s victory in the Women’s World Cup final when he kissed Jenni Hermoso on the lips.
On Monday it was reported that the RFEF had taken the extraordinary step of asking UEFA to suspend its teams from international competition in an apparent bid to save Rubiales’ job, with members of the Spanish government having added their voices to the those demanding he step aside.
A statement from the regional presidents said: “After the latest events and the unacceptable behaviours that have seriously damaged the image of Spanish football, the presidents request that Mr Luis Rubiales immediately present his resignation as president of the RFEF.
“We warmly congratulate the women’s soccer team for their victory in the World Cup. We value the meaning and legacy of success for Spanish sport.
“We express our admiration and gratitude to an unrepeatable group of players and we extend our congratulations to all those who have built, over the years with determination, the growth of women’s football.
“We will urge the corresponding bodies to carry out a deep and imminent organic restructuring in strategic positions of the Federation to give way to a new stage of management in Spanish football.”
Earlier on Monday, Rubiales’ mother announced she was going on hunger strike over the “inhuman” treatment of her son, according to reports in Spain.
The 46-year-old Spanish football chief was provisionally suspended by FIFA on Saturday pending an investigation into his conduct in Sydney on August 20.
Comunicado oficial de la Comisión de Presidentes Territoriales de la RFEF.
— RFEF (@rfef) August 28, 2023
The president grabbed his crotch in the stadium’s VIP area in celebration of Spain’s win over England, when he was stood metres away from Spain’s Queen Letizia and her teenage daughter.
FIFA has suspended Rubiales for an initial period of 90 days. He and the RFEF have also been ordered not to contact Hermoso either directly or through intermediaries.
Hermoso has accused the RFEF of a “manipulative, hostile and controlling culture” as a total of 81 players signed a letter stating they will not accept national team call-ups while Rubiales remains in situ.