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Spain: Women's football coaching staff resign over FIFA World Cup kissing scandal

Luis Rubials kisses Spanish football player Jennifer Hermoso after the team's World Cup victory
Luis Rubials kisses Spanish football player Jennifer Hermoso after the team's World Cup victory Copyright Alessandra Tarantino/Copyright 2023 The AP. All rights reserved
Copyright Alessandra Tarantino/Copyright 2023 The AP. All rights reserved
By Euronews
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All of Spain's national women's football coaching staff except for the chief have stepped down after RFEF president Luis Rubiales kissed player Jenni Hermoso on the lips after her team's victory in the World Cup final.

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Eleven members of the Spanish women's team coaching staff tendered their resignations on Saturday, expressing "their firm and categorical condemnation of Luis Rubiales' behaviour towards Jenni Hermoso".

Without his deputies, coach Jorge Vilda remains in place. However, he distanced himself from Rubiales on Saturday evening, "I regret that the victory of women's soccer has been tarnished by the inappropriate behaviour shown and acknowledged by our most senior manager up to that point, Luis Rubiales," he said in a statement picked up by several Spanish outlets.

The eleven staff members described the attitude of Rubiales as "unacceptable."

The international football body FIFA suspended Rubiales on Saturday from all football-related activity for 90 days pending inquiries, a decision that has won support from the Spanish government. 

"We totally respect FIFA’s decision," Spain's Secretary of State for Sport, Victor Francos told reporters. "It reinforces our government’s position regarding the path we have started in this case. It goes in agreement with the highest spheres of international football. It says that the path chosen by the Spanish government is the right one."

Rubiales faces inquiries by FIFA and the Spanish Football Federation but can only be forced out by a legal verdict. 

On Friday, 81 Spanish players, including all 23 World champions, vowed to go on strike, refusing to play until Rubiales is removed.

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