Luis Rubiales has accused the media of a “social assassination” as he refuses to resign as Spanish FA president for kissing Jenni Hermoso after Spain’s Women’s World Cup final victory on Sunday, August 20.
The president of the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF), embraced the forward before kissing her on the lips during the medal ceremony following the team’s 1-0 win against England in Sydney.
Rubiales apologised for the kiss on Monday before Fifa, world football’s governing body, opened disciplinary proceedings against him on Thursday.
“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.”
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.
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.