UEFA nods goodbye to Rubiales as Football Board focuses on women’s growth opportunities

September 13 – Twenty-four hours after Spanish FA boss Luis Rubiales finally fell on his sword over the ‘kissgate’ scandal, UEFA acknowledged the contribution made by its now former vice-president.

UEFA hosted a group of women players and coaches for a conference Monday – the first meeting of its Football Board for the women’s game – after which it put out a statement referencing Rubiales,  one of its six vice-presidents who now has to be replaced.

“UEFA acknowledges the public discourse surrounding Mr. Rubiales and his recent actions but would also like to thank him for his many years of service to European football,” the statement said. “In view of the ongoing legal proceedings, UEFA has no further comments to make on this matter.”

Rubiales, who finally resigned late Sunday, still insists he is innocent of any deliberate wrongdoing despite being banned by FIFA during an investigation into his  unsolicited kiss on Spain forward Jennifer Hermoso’s lips during the Women’s World Cup final trophy presentation.  He says he took the decision to quit after being assured that his exit would aid Spain’s hopes of co-hosting the 2030’s men’s World Cup.

He is due to testify on Friday at Spain’s National Court on charges of sexual assault and coercion.

Away from the Rubiales affair, Monday’s UEFA women’s gathering, attended by a string of high-profile figures, kicked off with a presentation about women’s football activities and initiatives highlighted by attendance records broken across the continent by clubs and national teams as well as the increased investments made in Europe over the past seasons.

“Bringing together some of the greats of our game to discuss the successes, challenges and opportunities facing our sport was a necessary step,” said Nadine Kessler, UEFA Managing Director of Women’s Football. “Their ideas, without any doubt, will lead to an even better European football landscape.”

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