Rubiales banned for three years over World Cup kiss

Rubiales banned for three years over World Cup kiss

Luis Rubiales leaves court
Luis Rubiales resigned from his role as a vice-president of Uefa’s executive committee in September

Former Spanish football federation president Luis Rubiales has been banned from all football-related activities for three years by Fifa.

Rubiales kissed forward Jenni Hermoso on the lips following Spain’s Women’s World Cup final win over England.

The kiss, which forward Hermoso says was not consensual, sparked outcry, with Rubiales eventually stepping down from his role in September.

Hermoso later filed a legal complaint against Rubiales.

On Monday, world governing body Fifa announced the three-year ban for breaching article 13 of its disciplinary code.

It confirmed the case concerned the “events that occurred during the final of the Fifa Women’s World Cup on 20 August 2023, for which Mr Rubiales had been provisionally suspended for an initial period of 90 days”.

“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,” a statement read.

It added that the decision remains “subject to a possible appeal”.

Article 13 of the Fifa disciplinary code relates to offensive behaviour and violations of the principles of fair play.

Rubiales, 46, claimed the kiss at the post-match presentation ceremony was “mutual” but Hermoso has consistently said it was not.

The incident overshadowed Spain’s historic victory in Sydney, Australia.

Last month, a hearing at the national court in Madrid considered a criminal complaint of sexual assault and coercion against Rubiales, who was subsequently banned from going within 200m of Hermoso. He has denied the allegations.

Rubiales’ actions drew widespread criticism, with a majority of the World Cup-winning squad boycotting the national team until changes were made within the football federation.

World Cup-winning manager Jorge Vilda was sacked in September and is being investigated as part of the criminal case against Rubiales.

Hermoso, who said her image had been tarnished by the kiss, returned to the national side in October and scored an 89th-minute winner against Italy.

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