Luis Rubiales has refused to step down as president of the Spanish football federation following his behaviour at the Women’s World Cup final on Sunday.
Rubiales, 46, kissed forward Jenni Hermoso on the lips after Spain’s 1-0 victory over England.
He had earlier grabbed his crotch as he celebrated at the final whistle.
“I will not resign, I will not resign,” he told an extraordinary general assembly called by the federation. “A social assassination is taking place.”
Rubiales apologised for the kiss on Monday before Fifa, world football’s governing body, opened disciplinary proceedings against him on Thursday.
On Friday he apologised for grabbing his crotch while celebrating in the VIP area of Stadium Australia, with Queen Letizia of Spain and her 16-year-old daughter stood nearby.
“I’m ready to be vilified to defend my ideals,” added Rubiales. “I don’t deserve this manhunt I have been suffering.
“I want to apologise without reservations for everything that happened in the box, when in a moment of euphoria I grabbed that part of my body that you have already seen.
“Of course I have to apologise, to the Queen, and to everyone who has felt offended. I have been in countless boxes and I have never behaved like that.”
Kiss was ‘mutual and consensual’
Rubiales was repeatedly applauded as he addressed the assembly, which the federation called “as a matter of urgency”.
He defended his actions, saying he tried to console Hermoso after she had a late penalty saved by Mary Earps.
“Jenni was the one who lifted me up,” he said. “I told her to ‘forget about the penalty’ and I said to her ‘a little peck?’ and she said ‘OK’.
“It was a spontaneous kiss. Mutual, euphoric and consensual. That’s the key.
“A consensual ‘peck’ is enough to get me out of here? I will fight until the end.”
Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said Rubiales’ initial apology was “not enough” and second deputy prime minister Yolanda Diaz joined those calling on him to resign.
Futpro, a union representing Hermoso, said the incident should not go unpunished while the 33-year-old forward said the union would “defend my interests” in the matter.
The Pachuca player, who has 101 caps, initially said on Instagram she “didn’t like” Rubiales’ actions but a statement released later on her behalf defended him.
More to follow.
- Osman Bukari disappointed with Red Star Belgrade Champions league defeat to Manchester City
- JUST IN: James Akwasi Appiah appointed head coach of Sudan national team
- WAFCON Qualifier: Black Queens coach Nora Häuptle optimistic of win over Rwanda
- 2023 GFA Elections: Extraordinary Congress session postponed to October 5