Luis Rubiales, the Spanish Football Federation president who’s been under enormous pressure to resign after spontaneously planting a non-consensual kiss on the lips of a women’s World Cup player during a medals ceremony, has finally stepped down — and the soccer leader did it during an interview with controversial BBC TV host Piers Morgan.
Rubiales grabbed Spain midfielder Jennifer Hermoso’s face and kissed her on the lips as the champions received their gold medals last month. Hermoso later indicated that the kiss was unwanted, and that she did not approve of it.
The besieged soccer president apologized, but for weeks defiantly said the gesture was done in a moment of “euphoria” and refused to resign his post. He called the dustup a “social assassination” and a “manhunt,” despite cries for his head from several top European sports governing bodies, players’ unions and prominent individuals over the past three weeks.
And then – Rubiales agreed to an exclusive one-on-one with “Piers Morgan Uncensored,” for an episode that will air Tuesday night on Talk TV in the U.K. The British show shared a brief clip on YouTube of the exchange, where Morgan sets up Rubiales to finally do what it seems like the whole world had been clamoring for:
“You’ve come under ferocious pressure for three weeks now – you, and your family, it’s been very difficult for your daughters,” Morgan said. “There comes a point, perhaps, when the pressure is just so relentless, that you do think about what you should do with yourself and your future. Many people think you should resign as president. What are you going to do?”
After giving a shout-out to his daughters, Rubiales said: “Yes, I am going to do.”
“You’re going to resign?” Morgan asked.
“Yes, because I cannot continue my work.”
Morgan asked what the “final moment” was that made Rubiales change his mind – “talking to your dad, perhaps?”
“Yeah, my father, and my daughters, I spoke with them,” he said. “They know it’s not a question about me – and some friends, very close to me – and they say ‘Luis, you have to focus now on your dignity and to continue your life, because, if not, you’re probably going to damage people you love.’”
Watch the entire exchange in the video clip above.