Luis Rubiales handed a three-year football ban by FIFA after incidents at the Women’s World Cup; ex-Spanish FA president to appeal

Former president of the Spanish football federation (RFEF) Luis Rubiales has been banned by FIFA from all football-related activities for three years.

World football’s governing body opened disciplinary proceedings against Rubiales in August after incidents at the Women’s World Cup final, in which he kissed Spain player Jenni Hermoso on the lips and grabbed her crotch celebration.

Rubiales, who resigned from his position in September, said the kiss was consensual, but Hermoso maintained it was not, saying “he will not allow my word to be doubted”.

Rubiales was temporarily suspended for 90 days by FIFA on August 26, but it was confirmed on Monday that Rubiales was found to have violated article 13 of the FIFA disciplinary code.

A statement from FIFA read: “This case relates to the events that took place at the end of the FIFA Women’s World Cup on 20 August 2023, where Mr.

It added: “FIFA reiterates its full commitment to respect and protect the integrity of all people and ensure that the basic rules of decent behavior are followed.”

Rubiales confirmed that he will appeal, writing on X (formerly Twitter): “I will go until the last resort so that justice is done and the truth shines through.

“Despite many efforts from some politicians, media outlets and institutions, the disproportion and injustice that has been done is becoming more and more obvious. THE PEOPLE, BY THE VAST MAJORITY, ARE CLEAR OF IT.”

Spanish prosecutors filed a case against Rubiales for alleged sexual assault and coercion last September.

Rubiales, who previously said he was facing a “media lynching”, was called to testify on September 15 and the investigation continues.

Rubiales’ time in football shows

Analysis by The Athletic’s football reporter Dermot Corrigan

FIFA’s decision to ban Rubiales from all football-related activities at national and international level for three years appears to be a final exemption from the game for the former RFEF president.

FIFA’s firm decision comes as a relief for the Spanish football federation and the Spanish government, given how the current acting federation president Pedro Rocha and Consejo Superior de Deportes (CSD) president Victor Francos are struggling to formally forcing Rubiales.

But Rubiales will not completely disappear from the public eye now as the investigations — also into the alleged misuse of funds during his administration of the federation — continue to slowly move through the Spanish legal system. Rubiales has denied any wrongdoing.

Since the World Cup, the unity and determination of Hermoso and his teammates has led to the dismissal of some federation executives, but others still remain in positions of authority, including Rocha, whom Rubiales chose as his heir

There is no confirmed date for the election to choose the next president of the federation. Rubiales will never return to office, but until a completely new chief arrives with a whole new slate of people and policies then the shadow of ‘Rubialismo’ will continue to haunt football in Spain.

What is the latest in Rubiales’ case?

Spanish prosecutors opened an investigation into the sexual assault on Rubiales on August 28 and indicated that in order for them to continue, they need Hermoso, as the injured party, to give them testimony within 15 days. . Hermoso spoke to them eight days ago.

Many were called to testify, and the case escalated.

Rubiales was called to testify on September 15, with his testimony leaked to the Spanish media.

According to statements published by El Espanol, Rubiales said about her kissing Hermoso: “It’s not that someone entered the office to kiss them forcefully, no. It’s something natural, in front of millions of eyes, between two people who have been together for a long time.

Hermoso’s testimony to prosecutors was also leaked — and aired on Spanish TV. “I don’t deserve to live through all this,” he said in the footage. “It was very difficult to leave the house. I had to leave Madrid to avoid being forced. Why should I cry in the room when I didn’t do anything?

“I greeted the queen, I hugged the daughter and next was Rubiales. I hugged him and the first thing I said to him when I hugged him was, ‘What have we done’, and he jumped on me and I stood up. When he came down the only thing I remember is that he said to me, ‘We won this World Cup thanks to you’. The next thing I remember is his hands on my head and the kiss on the mouth.”

A day after the leaked video footage appeared on Spanish TV last week, Hermoso’s legal representatives sent a letter to the investigating judge in charge of the case requesting that “the privacy of the victim be guaranteed and that the testimonies and evidence will be properly protected”.

Hermoso will give more testimony, although no date has been set.

What is the current state of the players in Spain?

Athletic Laia Cervello Herrero

The past year has been very intense, from when 15 players first removed themselves from international selection in September 2022 to protest the management of Jorge Vilda and the leadership of the RFEF, until the World Cup still Vilda in charge, and to the kiss of Rubiales in Hermoso and all who follow.

The players achieved so much, and were heralded as heroes, but the truth is that it destroyed them inside.

They feel there is progress. Alexia Putellas said the team’s meeting with government officials last month could be considered a “before and after” moment for women’s sport in Spain.

Talked to The Athletic before the latest international meeting, sources close to some of the players – not speaking publicly to protect their relationships – said that the group felt that, for the first time in their long struggle for with better working conditions and professional standards, things began to change.

They also say that they now feel a real need to disconnect from their activism and resort to just playing football for a while. They will feel more progress made with Rubiales’ ban, but all this comes at a cost.


The return to Spain of Jenni Hermoso and the case of Luis Rubiales: Everything you need to know

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