Luis Rubiales has resigned as president of the Spanish Football Federation following criticism for kissing Spain forward Jenni Hermoso at the Women’s World Cup final presentation ceremony.
Hermoso, 33, said the kiss after Spain beat England was not consensual and she filed a legal complaint last Tuesday.
He released a statement saying he had submitted his resignation to federation acting president Pedro Rocha.
“I cannot continue my work,” Rubiales said on ‘Piers Morgan Uncensored’.
The 46-year-old has also resigned from his position as vice-president of Uefa’s executive committee.
Rubiales claimed the kiss was “mutual and “consensual” but had been provisionally suspended by football’s world governing body Fifa.
Hermoso’s legal complaint means he could face criminal charges.
“After the quick suspension carried out by Fifa, plus the rest of open proceedings against me, it is evident that I will not be able to return to my position,” Rubiales’ statement read.
“Insisting on waiting and holding on is not going to contribute to anything positive, neither to the federation nor to Spanish football.”
Rubiales said he hoped his departure would boost Spain’s joint bid with Morocco and Portugal to host the 2030 World Cup.
He added: “I have faith in the truth and I will do everything in my power to prevail.
“My daughters, my family and the people who love me have suffered the effects of excessive persecution, as well as many falsehoods, but it is also true that on the street, more and more every day, the truth is prevailing.”
On 29 August, Spanish prosecutors opened a preliminary investigation into whether the incident amounts to a crime of sexual assault.
At the time, Spain’s top criminal court said it was opening its investigation in light of the “unequivocal nature” of Hermoso’s statements, saying it was necessary “to determine their legal significance”.
“Given the public statements made by Jennifer Hermoso, the sexual act she was subjected to by Luis Rubiales was not consensual,” a statement said.
Rubiales, who prior to the kiss had been seen grabbing his crotch while celebrating Spain’s 1-0 win against England, had repeatedly refused to resign from his position.
Earlier this month, Spain’s national sports tribunal (TAD) opened a misconduct case against him, ruling he had committed a “serious offence” by kissing Hermoso.
However, the TAD stopped short of the “very serious offence” the government had requested, that would have led to his suspension.
Some 81 Spain players, including all 23 World Cup winners, said they would not play for the national team again while Rubiales was in charge.
More to follow.