FIFA suspends Spanish FA president for kissing World Cup winner on the lips


FOOTBALL FIFA suspends Spanish FA president for kissing World Cup winner on the lips

Mark Kinyanjui 18:33 - 26.08.2023

FIFA moved to suspend Rubiales, who refused to apologize for kissing Jenni Hermoso on the lips.

The Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) president Luis Rubiales has been provisionally suspended from football-related activities for 90 days by the world football governing body, FIFA for kissing Jenni Hermoso on the lips during the Women's World Cup final.

FIFA have also restricted Rubiales and RFEF from making contact with Hermoso over the duration of the suspension. 

The suspension has come into force immediately and Rubiales has three days to write to FIFA to appeal the decision.

Rubiales faced calls to quit after kissing striker Jenni Hermoso on the lips and grabbing his crotch in celebration shortly after the final whistle as Spain beat England on Sunday. 

He apologised for grabbing his crotch but maintained that the kiss was consensual, saying it was “the same as the one I would give to one of my daughters”.

Hermoso has denied she consented to the kiss, saying she “will not tolerate that my word is doubted”.

In a statement released by FIFA, it was stressed the body intends to show “absolute commitment to respect the integrity of all persons and therefore condemns with the utmost vigor any behavior to the contrary.”

“The chairman of the FIFA Disciplinary Committee, Jorge Ivan Palacio (Colombia), in use of the powers granted by article 51 of the FIFA Disciplinary Code (FDC), has decided today to provisionally suspend Mr. Luis Rubiales from all football-related activities at national and international level. 

"This suspension, which will be effective as of today, is for an initial period of 90 days, pending the disciplinary proceedings opened against Mr. Luis Rubiales on Thursday, August 24.   

“Likewise, the chairman of the FIFA Disciplinary Committee and in order to preserve, among other factors, the fundamental rights of the national soccer team player Ms. Jennifer Hermoso and the good order of the disciplinary proceedings before this disciplinary body, has issued two additional directives (article 7 FDC) by which he orders Mr. Luis Rubiales to refrain, through himself or third parties, from contacting or attempting to contact the professional player of the Spanish national football team Ms. Jennifer Hermoso or her close environment.

“Likewise, the RFEF and its officials or employees, directly or through third parties, are ordered to refrain from contacting the professional player of the Spanish national team Ms. Jennifer Hermoso and her close environment.

“FIFA reiterates its absolute commitment to respect the integrity of all persons and therefore condemns with the utmost vigor any behavior to the contrary.”

FIFA opened disciplinary proceedings on Thursday against Rubiales.

81 Spainish women players, including the entire World Cup-winning squad, had stated they would reject call-ups to the national team until the leadership of the Spanish FA (RFEF) is changed and described the actions of Rubiales as “violating the dignity of women”.

In the joint statement, released on Friday via the players’ union Futpro, the players said: “As a result of this morning’s events, and in light of the perplexing speech delivered by the president of the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) Luis Rubiales, the players of Spain’s women’s senior team, recent world champions, in support of Jennifer Hermoso, want to express their firm and resounding condemnation of behaviors that have violated the dignity of women.

“In view of the statements made by the RFEF president, Jennifer Hemoso wants to categorically deny that she consented to the kiss that Luis Rubiales gave her after the World Cup final: ‘I want to clarify that, as seen in the images, at no time did I consent to the kiss that he gave me and of course, in no case did I seek to lift up the president [Rubiales said she did]. I will not tolerate that my word is doubted, much less words that I have not said invented.’”

Later on Friday, Hermoso released a statement of her own on social media. “While it is true that I do not want to interfere with the multiple ongoing legal processes, I feel obliged to report that Mr. Luis Rubiales’ words explaining the unfortunate incident are categorically false and part of the manipulative culture that he himself has generated,” she said.

“I want to make it clear that at no time did the conversation to which Mr. Luis Rubiales refers to in his address take place, and, above all, was his kiss ever consensual. I want to reiterate as I did before that I did not like this incident.”

Rubiales chaired an extraordinary RFEF assembly on Friday where he refused to resign, claimed “a social assassination” was being attempted against him, and said he had “suffered persecution” in his five years as RFEF president.

Rubiales added: “We’re in a country where the law rules, where there has to be a motive to take you out of some place. And I say: what is it I’ve done? A consensual peck is enough to get me out of here?”