In a significant development, FIFA, the governing body of world football, announced on Monday that it has issued a three-year ban on former president of the Spanish Football Association (RFEF), Luis Rubiales.
The ban comes as a consequence of Rubiales’ forced kiss on the lips of World Cup winner Jenni Hermoso during the medal ceremony following Spain’s victory in the Women’s World Cup in Sydney this past August.
In an official statement released from their headquarters in Zurich, FIFA stated, “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.”
The disciplinary action against Rubiales began with his provisional suspension for 90 days immediately following the unsolicited kiss incident. FIFA has now escalated this punishment by imposing a three-year ban, which effectively bars him from participating in any football-related activities.
Jenni Hermoso, the World Cup winner and the victim of the unwanted advance, expressed her distress and discomfort over the incident, describing it as “an impulsive, macho act, out of place and with no type of consent on my part” in a statement shared on social media. Her reaction reflects the seriousness with which FIFA has treated this case.
Luis Rubiales, who maintained that the kiss was consensual, stepped down as the head of the Spanish football federation in September amidst growing controversy and public scrutiny.
FIFA’s decision to ban Rubiales was communicated to him on Monday. He has been given a ten-day window to request a motivated decision, which, if requested, will be made available on FIFA’s official legal website. Furthermore, FIFA’s statement emphasized that the decision is subject to potential appeal before the FIFA Appeal Committee.
In closing, FIFA reiterated its unwavering commitment to respecting and safeguarding the integrity of all individuals involved in the sport, emphasizing the importance of upholding basic principles of decent conduct.
The organization’s action in this case serves as a reminder that any form of unwanted physical contact is taken seriously and will not be tolerated within the world of football.