SPAIN’S men’s football team coach Luis de la Fuente has apologised for applauding RFEF president Luis Rubiales last week but has refused to resign.

De la Fuente was asked about his behaviour at a Madrid news conference on Friday ahead of Spain’s Euro 2024 qualifying matches against Georgia and Cyprus.

Rubiales gave a defiant speech a week ago to an RFEF special assembly when he refused to quit in the wake of the controversial kiss given to Jenni Hermoso after Spain’s women won the World Cup in Sydney.

The following day world governing body FIFA suspended him for 90 days from all footballing activity while they conduct a disciplinary investigation.

De la Fuente told reporters: “I have received harsh criticism which is fully deserved. I regret it, I understand it, and I apologise.”

Asked about his future, De la Fuente said: “I have the confidence of RFEF leaders and I have no reason to resign.”

The Spanish coach turned on Rubiales within 24 hours after an outcry about him standing up to applaud him when the now-suspended RFEF chief said he would not quit and denounced the kissing row as a ‘feminist’ plot.

“My behaviour was wrong and it was a human error in a stressful situation,” claimed De la Fuente.

He added that he was on the side of ‘equality and respect’.

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