Facing his possible removal from office, the president of the Spanish soccer federation refused to resign Friday despite an uproar for kissing a player on the lips without her consent after the Women’s World Cup final.
Luis Rubiales defiantly told an emergency general assembly of the federation “I won’t resign” four times in quick succession and claimed he was a victim of a witch hunt by “false feminists.”
Several Spanish media outlets had reported on Thursday that Rubiales was planning to step down after grabbing and kissing Jenni Hermoso on the lips during the award ceremony after Spain beat England in the final in Sydney, Australia, marring the title celebrations in front of a global audience.
Instead, he said the kiss was “mutual and with the consent” of Hermoso and painted himself as a victim. He received various applause from the overwhelming male assembly.
Among those who applauded his decision to cling to power were women’s national team coach Jorge Vilda and men’s national team coach Luis de la Fuente.