In Summary

  • Rubiales resigned last month as the country’s soccer president.
  • He had described the kiss as “mutual
  • Rubiales is now under investigation for “the crimes of sexual assault

FIFA, soccer’s world governing body, has banned Luis Rubiales – the former president of the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) – from all soccer-related activities for three years over his unwanted kiss on Spain’s Women’s World Cup-winning star player, Jennifer Hermoso.

In a statement released on Monday, FIFA said Rubiales’ actions during the medal ceremony at the Women’s World Cup final in August were in breach of article 13 of its disciplinary code.

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Luis Rubiales. Pic: AP

“FIFA 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 governing body said.

FIFA added that the ban, which covers “all football-related activities at national and international levels,” remained subject to a possible appeal before the FIFA Appeal Committee.

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The Unwanted Kiss

Luis Rubiales (Photo Courtesy)


Luis Rubiales, faced criticism  after he kissed forward Jenni Hermoso on the lips following Spain’s 1-0 victory over England in the World Cup final in Sydney.

The fallout over Rubiales’ behavior triggered a crisis in Spanish soccer and sparked condemnation in the Iberian nation and across the world.

Following weeks of fierce criticism, Rubiales resigned last month as the country’s soccer president. World Cup-winning manager Jorge Vilda was also fired from his role in the aftermath of the incident, with his deputy, Montse Tomé, being named his replacement – the country’s first ever woman in the role.

Rubiales, at the time  described the kiss as “mutual” – a claim Hermoso denied, saying she did not consent and was not respected.

In the immediate aftermath of the incident, Rubiales defiantly refused to resign despite public outcry and protests and was given a provisional 90-day ban from the sport by FIFA.

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FIFA’s Disciplinary Code

Article 13 of FIFA’s disciplinary code – titled “offensive behaviour and violations of the principles of fair play” – allows the organization to sanction someone if they are deemed to have violated “the basic rules of decent conduct” or behaved “in a way that brings the sport of football and/or FIFA into disrepute.”

Rubiales is now under investigation for “the crimes of sexual assault and coercion,” in a case being brought by Spanish prosecutors.

Hermoso made a glorious return to international football last week, scoring in the 89th minute to give the world champions a 1-0 victory over Italy in the UEFA Women’s Nations League.



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