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FIFA bans former Spanish Football president for three years

FIFA bans former Spanish Football president for three years

FIFA, the global governing body of football, has imposed a three-year ban on former Spanish Football Association (RFEF) president Luis Rubiales, prohibiting him from participating in any football-related activities.

The ban comes as a consequence of an incident during the FIFA Women’s World Cup final on August 20 in Sydney. Rubiales kissed Spanish player Jenni Hermoso on the lips during the trophy presentation following Spain’s victory over England. Hermoso later asserted that the kiss was not consensual.

Initially, Rubiales defiantly attempted to continue in his role, but he eventually resigned last month. FIFA has now penalised him for violating Article 13 of the FIFA disciplinary code.

The FIFA disciplinary committee’s statement reads:

‘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, having found that he acted in breach of article 13 of the FIFA disciplinary code.

‘This case relates to the events that occurred during the final of the Fifa Women’s World Cup on 20th August 2023, for which Mr Rubiales had been provisionally suspended for an initial period of 90 days.

‘Mr Rubiales has been notified of the terms of the Fifa disciplinary committee’s decision today.’

Rubiales has the option to request a motivated decision within 10 days, and if requested, it will be subsequently published on legal.fifa.com. The decision remains subject to a potential appeal before the FIFA appeal committee.

FIFA reiterated its unwavering commitment to upholding the integrity of all individuals and ensuring that fundamental standards of conduct are maintained.

Following his resignation from the RFEF in September, Rubiales expressed his determination to “defend my innocence” and professed his belief in the truth.

Rubiales’ actions during the Women’s World Cup final were widely criticised, especially when he celebrated Spain’s victory by making an inappropriate gesture while in the VIP box with Spain’s Queen Letizia and Princess Infanta Sofia in Sydney.

While Rubiales did issue an apology in a video statement the day after the incident, he contended that the kiss was consensual during a public speech in front of Spain’s regional federations, clubs, players, coaches and referees in Madrid.

In response to Rubiales’ continued presence, the entire Spain Women’s World Cup-winning squad had indicated they would not participate in national team duties. FIFA had already provisionally suspended Rubiales from all football-related activities for 90 days on August 26.

Spain’s national team manager, Jorge Vilda, was dismissed shortly afterward and the RFEF issued an apology for the “enormous damage” caused by Rubiales’ actions.

Hermoso filed a formal complaint against Rubiales with Spain’s national prosecutor’s office the same week. Subsequently, the office filed a complaint of sexual assault and an allegation of coercion with the High Court.

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