For having imposed a surprise kiss on the player Jenni Hermoso after the Spanish world title, the former boss of the Spanish football federation Luis Rubiales was suspended on Monday for three years from any activity linked to football by Fifa.
• Read also: Forced kiss scandal: Rubiales banned from coming within 200 m of Jenni Hermoso
The former strongman of Spanish football was already provisionally suspended for 90 days by the international federation, which recalled that he could appeal his suspension to the Appeals Commission.
“Guilty of breaching article 13 of the Fifa Disciplinary Code, Luis Rubiales (…) was banned by the Fifa Disciplinary Commission from exercising any activity relating to football at national levels and international for a period of three years”, specifies the body in a press release, affirming its “commitment to the protection of the integrity of each individual, as well as respect for the rules of good conduct”.
The article cited by Fifa is titled “Offensive behavior and violation of the principles of fair play”, and mentions among other examples “the violation of the basic rules of decency” or “behavior detrimental to the image of football or FIFA.
The latter announced that he would appeal his suspension.
“I announce now that I am going to appeal (…) I will go so far as to take the matter to the last instance so that justice is done and the truth comes out,” wrote the former football strongman on X (formerly Twitter), in a publication accompanied by an emoji representing a bicep contracted as a sign of strength.
I will go to the last resort so that justice is done and the truth shines 💪
Due to the many efforts of some politicians, media and institutions, the disproportion and injustice committed is becoming increasingly clearer✅
PEOPLE, VERY MAJORITY, ARE CLEAR ABOUT IT pic.twitter.com/3z7hKMDw2R
— Luis Rubiales (@LuisRubiales17) October 30, 2023
On August 20, a few minutes after the world title of the women’s “Roja” in Sydney, the 46-year-old Spanish football boss surprised striker Jenni Hermoso on the mouth, provoking indignation in Spain and worldwide.
Refusing to resign for “a little consensual kiss”, he attacked, during a resounding speech on August 25, a supposed “false feminism” and argued that he had obtained the player’s authorization before kissing her.
A version denied by Jenni Hermoso who said she “felt vulnerable and victim (…) of an impulsive and sexist act, inappropriate and without any consent on (her) part”.
Under pressure, Rubiales ended up resigning on September 10, saying he was the victim of a “disproportionate campaign”.
On the legal front, Rubiales was also charged with “sexual assault” by the Spanish courts, and was prohibited from approaching within 200 meters of Jenni Hermoso, who evaluates at Pachuca, in the Mexican championship.
He is also being prosecuted for “coercion” due to the alleged pressure he exerted on Hermoso and those around her to change her statements – pressure confirmed in court at the beginning of October by three players from the selection.
The scandal, which sparked international outrage, also led the Spanish Federation to dismiss several of its executives, including the coach of the women’s national team Jorge Vilda, close to Luis Rubiales and also indicted by judge Francisco de Jorge .
Vilda was replaced at the head of the women’s Roja by Montse Tomé, but the latter first had to face a strike by Spanish players, who demanded deeper changes to agree to return to the selection.
Since then, the players have reached an agreement with their federation and have regained momentum, notably by winning 5-0 against Switzerland at the end of September, a victory obtained after a 3-2 success in Sweden.
And last Friday, it was even Jenni Hermoso who gave her team victory, 1-0, in Italy, for her big return to the selection since the start of the affair.
“What better feeling than feeling good again, scoring the winning goal… now I can only smile!” she told Spanish public television after the match.
After three days, the Spanish women are at the top of their group in the Nations League, a qualifying competition for the Paris Olympic Games.