Spain’s suspended football federation President Luis Rubiales announced his resignation Sunday, citing the intense public criticism he’s received after forcibly kissing footballer Jenni Hermoso at the Women’s World Cup final.

“I do not want Spanish football to be negatively impacted by this disproportionate campaign,” Rubiales wrote in a statement sent to the media shortly after he presented his resignation to acting federation President Pedro Rocha on Sunday night.

Rubiales’ resignation statement was distributed at the same time that journalist Piers Morgan published a clip of an upcoming interview in which Rubiales confirms his resignation and said his father had urged him to step down in order to preserve his dignity.

Last month Rubiales ignited a firestorm with his actions at the World Cup final, which kicked off a wider conversation about sexism in Spanish society. For several weeks the country’s top politicians and the heads of Spain’s regional football federations have been calling for Rubiales to stand down.

Rubiales said that his suspension by global football governing body FIFA’s disciplinary committee and the launch of a sexual assault investigation into his actions by Spain’s National Court had convinced him that he would not be able to remain in his post, and that his insisting on doing so would only harm the federation and football in general.

The football chief asserted that he had done nothing wrong and said that he had “faith in the truth and a determination to do everything to make sure that it prevails.”

“My daughters, my family and the people I love the most have suffered the effects of an excessive persecution, as well as many lies, but with every day that passes the truth is taking hold on the street,” he added.

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