Luis Rubiales
Luis Rubiales gave a fiery speech in which he shouted that he refused to resign from his post as RFEF chief RFEF via AFP / Eidan RUBIO

In what can be seen as a massive U-turn from its stance last week, the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) has demanded the resignation of suspended president Luis Rubiales.

The call for the resignation of the under-fire president comes at the heels of a meeting called by the Committee of Presidents of the Autonomous and Territorial Federations of the RFEF on Monday. It also comes after football governing body FIFA handed a 90-day suspension to Rubiales while they investigate his actions during the Women's World Cup final in Sydney, Australia.

Rubiales has been facing widespread criticism for his actions during and immediately after Spain defeated England 1-0 in the final. He was seen grabbing his crotch while celebrating in the stands beside Her Majesty Queen Letizia of Spain and her daughter Infanta Sofia. He also forcibly kissed Spain forward Jenni Hermoso on the lips during the awarding ceremony. Furthermore, he was also seen carrying one of the players like a hunk of meat over his shoulder while walking around the pitch.

Luis Rubiales
Spanish football president Luis Rubiales is being asked to step down from his position after unprecedented criticism for his unsolicited kiss and behaviour at the Women's World Cup final AFP / DAVID GRAY

The RFEF changes its stance

Throughout the previous week, the RFEF has supported Rubiales. They even issued a statement supposedly on behalf of Hermoso, stating that the kiss was "spontaneous" and "mutual" and that the relationship between the two remains in a good place.

Hermoso has since claimed that the statement is false, saying that she did not consent to the kiss and neither did she like it. FIFA has opened disciplinary proceedings and the RFEF has confirmed that the sexual violence protocol has been activated after receiving the statement from Hermoso via her player's union, FutPro.

Now, the heads of the regional bodies of the RFEF are unanimously calling for the resignation of Rubiales.

"After recent events and the unacceptable behaviour that has seriously damaged the image of Spanish football, the presidents request that Luis Rubiales resign immediately as president of the RFEF," read the statement shared on the federation's official website.

In the same statement, the regional leaders backed interim chief Pedro Rocha to take over, and for an overhaul of the federation's management to take place. "We will urge the relevant authorities to carry out a profound and imminent organisational restructuring in strategic positions of the federation in order to make way for a new stage in the management of Spanish football," the statement said.

Rubiales could soon face criminal charges

Things continue to get worse for Rubiales, as the Spanish Prosecutor's Office has confirmed that a preliminary investigation has been launched over a possible case of "sexual assault."

Based on the statement shared by Hermoso, she confirmed that she felt like a "victim of an impulse-driven, sexist, out of place act " contrary to claims made by Rubiales that the kiss was mutual and consensual. The player would be given 15 days to file a lawsuit should she wish to pursue legal action against Rubiales.

The 46-year-old official initially brushed aside the criticism over his actions, calling people "idiots" for complaining about his kiss on Hermoso which was seen live by millions across the globe. She said in an Instagram Live video from the dressing room just a few minutes later that she didn't like the kiss, but Rubiales proceeded to joke that they would soon celebrate their "marriage" in Ibiza.

Rubiales confirmed on Friday that he has no intention of stepping down before FIFA slapped him with a suspension. All 23 members of Spain's World Cup winning squad announced a boycott, alongside over fifty other female footballers. They refuse to suit up for the country unless Rubiales is replaced, and it remains to be seen how things will pan out next month when Spain is scheduled to face Sweden and Switzerland in the Nations League qualifiers.

Meanwhile, controversial manager Jorge Vilda is also on the chopping block amid the Rubiales row.