Former Spanish Football Federation President Luis Rubiales receives a three-year FIFA ban due to an incident during the Women’s World Cup final.
The incident in question involved Rubiales kissing the forward, Jenni Hermoso, on the lips after Spain’s Women’s World Cup final victory over England. This action, which Hermoso asserted was non-consensual, led to significant public outcry and resulted in Rubiales resigning from his position in September. Hermoso filed a legal complaint against Rubiales.
FIFA, the global governing body for football, announced on Monday that it had imposed a three-year ban due to a violation of Article 13 of its disciplinary code. This article pertains to offensive behavior and breaches of fair play principles.
In response to the ban, Rubiales expressed his intent to appeal, stating on social media, “I will exhaust all available avenues to ensure justice prevails and the truth comes to light.”
The case brought against Rubiales by FIFA relates to the events that transpired during the final of the FIFA Women’s World Cup on August 20, 2023. He had faced a provisional suspension of 90 days.
FIFA emphasized its unwavering commitment to upholding the integrity of all individuals and maintaining standards of decent conduct. They also noted that their decision is “subject to a possible appeal,” which Rubiales has confirmed he will pursue.
Rubiales, aged 46, maintained that the post-match kiss was “mutual,” but Hermoso consistently contradicted this claim.
The controversy surrounding this incident overshadowed Spain’s historic victory in Sydney, Australia. Legal proceedings in Madrid last month initiated allegations of sexual assault and coercion against Rubiales, resulting in a 200-meter restriction from Hermoso. Rubiales refuted these allegations.
Rubiales’ actions triggered widespread criticism, leading to a boycott by a majority of the World Cup-winning squad from the national team until the football federation made changes. They also dismissed World Cup-winning manager Jorge Vilda in September and are currently under investigation as part of the ongoing criminal case against Rubiales.
Hermoso, whose incident affected her reputation, made a return to the national side in October and scored an 89th-minute match-winning goal against Italy.