Spanish football leaders ask Rubiales to resign over his kiss of player

Leading officials within the Spanish Football Federation asked suspended president Luis Rubiales to resign on Monday because of his behaviour at the Women's World Cup, including kissing a player on the lips after Spain won the championship match.

The heads of the regional bodies that make up the federation (RFEF) made the request in a collective statement.

“After the latest developments and the unacceptable behaviour that has caused great damage to the image of Spanish soccer, the presidents request that Luis Rubiales resign immediately as president of the RFEF,” the statement said.

Earlier Monday, the federation asked UEFA to suspend it from international competitions because of government interference related to Rubiales. However, in their statement, the heads of the regional bodies urged interim federation president Pedro Rocha to withdraw that request immediately.

The federation's request for a suspension was widely seen as an attempt to silence some of Rubiales’ critics, including government ministers who have asked for his removal.

Such a suspension would ban Spanish teams from competitions like the Champions League and could sway public opinion in favour of letting him keep his job.

Soccer's governing bodies have longstanding rules barring national governments from interfering with the running of domestic soccer federations.

His mother on Monday started a hunger strike in a church in southern Spain in defense of her son, demanding an end to “the bloody and inhumane hounding” of him.

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