October 30 – FIFA has banned Luis Rubiales, the former president of the Spanish Football Association (RFEF), from all football-related activities for three years following his ill-judged kiss of Spain’s Jenni Hermoso at the 2023 World Cup presentation ceremony on August.
The decision taken by the FIFA Disciplinary Committee found that he acted in breach of article 13 of the FIFA Disciplinary Code, and follows an initial 90-day suspension issued by FIFA.
Rubiales has already been removed from the presidency of the RFEF and he subsequently bowed to global pressure and resigned his UEFA vice presidency having initially refused to step down arguing the case was being blown out of all proportion.
He could appeal the FIFA decision and could also request “a motivated decision” that would see the details of the reasoning of the case published on FIFA’s website.
FIFA said it “reiterates its absolute commitment to respecting and protecting the integrity of all people and ensuring that the basic rules of decent conduct are upheld.”
The Rubiales kiss-gate case sparked worldwide condemnation after Hermoso said the kiss was not consensual. Domestically it triggered a furore over sexism in Spanish sport and society at large and Rubiales’ appearance came just days after he bowed to global pressure and resigned.
That in turn has led to a number of key personnel changes within the Spanish federation at the demand of the women players who initially refused to turn out for their country after the World Cup win until the federation showed it was prepared to make significant progress in its support of the women’s game and protection of female players.
With Spanish politicians and leading figures in Spanish society condemning Rubiales both for the kiss and is subsequent denials, the scandal has also been dragged into the Spanish courts with Rubiales already having been brought before the national court to face accusations of sexual assault and coercion.
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