August 31 – UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin has broken his silence over the infamous kiss by Luis Rubiales that has led to the Spanish FA boss being temporarily suspended.
Rubiales is a UEFA vice-president and until now European football’s governing body has kept its counsel over commenting on his behaviour which has drawn widespread condemnation.
FIFA has opened disciplinary proceedings against Rubiales over the incident with player Jenni Hermoso last Sunday in Sydney that has caused an uproar among players and fans alike.
Ceferin said Rubiales’ conduct was “inappropriate” but that he did not want to interfere with FIFA’s disciplinary process.
“Of course, what he did was inappropriate. We all know it. I hope he knows it was inappropriate,” Ceferin told l’Equipe. “This is enough for the moment because the independent disciplinary bodies will decide.”
Under pressure to resign, Rubiales has been defiant, arguing his actions were consensual.
“His case is in the hands of the disciplinary body of FIFA. Any comments I might make would sound like pressure,” Ceferin added, saying there was no need for UEFA to take its own action.
“He is suspended from all his functions, everywhere. There is no need to do it twice. I just have to say that I am sad that such an event overshadows the victory of the Spanish national team.”
The UEFA chief admits change must follow, however.
“I had a meeting today with Laura McAllister (vice-president of UEFA) to find ways to change the way we behave. We must do more.”
On Monday, Rubiales’ mother Angeles Bejar announced she was going on hunger strike over the “inhuman” treatment of her son and locked herself in a church in Motril.
According to Spanish media outlet Marca, the priest of the Divina Pastora parish confirmed Rubiales had convinced his mother to leave the church and seek medical treatment at hospital, with her feet swollen and also suffering from fatigue.
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