Luis de la Fuente claimed that it was an “inexcusable human error” and has sought “forgiveness” for applauding Luis Rubiales’ explosive speech.
Rubiales grabbed Jenni Hermoso and planted a kiss on her lips during the awards ceremony of the 2023 Women’s World Cup final which the player later clarified was not consensual.
However, the Spanish FA President refused to step down from his prominent position and defended his actions in an explosive speech during a press conference last Friday.
De La Fuente was in attendance and was spotted applauding Rubiales, along with women’s team head coach Jorge Vilda.
However, in retrospect, the manager has come to believe that his actions were a “mistake” and if given a chance he would not “commit that act” again.
“Almost all of us RFEF (Spanish Football Federation) workers went in there thinking that we were going to see the dismissal of a president and we found something completely different,” he told reporters on Friday.
“It was not easy to digest. It was a situation that overwhelmed me. I have not felt betrayed by Luis Rubiales, but I arrived thinking that it was going to be a resignation meeting and we were shocked when we saw that it was not this way.
“I don’t have to resign, I have to ask for forgiveness. I made a mistake, an inexcusable human error. If I could go back I wouldn’t commit that act again. I am on the side of equality and respect. We all have to improve in terms of equality and I am the first,” he added.
Rubiales has been suspended by FIFA from all football-related activities for 90 days and around 81 players have since claimed that they will not play for Spain until Rubiales is dismissed.
Meanwhile, De La Fuente will shift his focus on the two upcoming Euro 2024 qualifiers against Georgia and Cyprus on September 8 and 12 respectively.