Former Spanish football federation chief Rubiales banned for three years
Fifa bans from all football-related activities follows disciplinary committee probe
Luis Rubiales, the former president of the Spanish Football Association (RFEF), has been banned from all football-related activities for three years, world soccer’s ruling body said on Monday.
The move was imposed following the allegedly non-consensual kiss Rubiales gave to Spain player Jenni Hermoso after this year’s Women’s World Cup final in which Spain beat England.
The “kiss-gate” scandal completely overshadowed what was a momentous moment for Spanish women’s soccer and blew up into a sexism storm that attracted global headlines.
“The Fifa disciplinary committee has banned Luis Rubiales, the former president of the Spanish Football Association (RFEF), from all football-related activities at national and international levels for three years, having found that he acted in breach of article 13 of the Fifa disciplinary code,” Fifa said in a statement.
Rubiales’ lawyers said they would be not be commenting on the decision.
Rubiales resigned in September from his position as RFEF president, saying his position had become untenable. He had initially vowed not to stand down despite pressure from players, politicians and women's groups.
Hermoso filed a complaint against Rubiales that he and his entourage had issued a statement without her approval quoting her as saying the kiss was a “mutual, totally spontaneous gesture”.
Rubiales, 46, has the right to appeal against the decision.
“Mr Rubiales has been notified of the terms of the Fifa disciplinary committee’s decision today,” Fifa said. “The decision remains subject to a possible appeal before the Fifa appeal committee.”
Former England midfielder Sue Smith said it was the right outcome.
“Something had to be done. I watched it at the time and thought it wasn’t right,” she told Sky Sports.
“Women’s football stuck together on this and it’s the right outcome.”
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