Spanish Soccer Federation President Suspended by FIFA for Kissing Player Without Consent
Spanish soccer federation president Luis Rubiales has been provisionally suspended from all football-related activities at the national and international level for 90 days by FIFA following a refusal to resign on Friday. The suspension comes after Rubiales caused an uproar after kissing Spanish national team forward Jenni Hermoso on the lips without her consent during the awards ceremony following Spain's 1-0 victory over England in the Women's World Cup final in Sydney, Australia.
In a defiant speech in front of the emergency general assembly of the federation, Rubiales refused to step down despite local reports that he planned to resign. The FIFA Disciplinary Committee has announced the provisional suspension, pending the disciplinary proceedings against Rubiales. He has also been ordered to refrain from contacting Hermoso or her close environment, and the Spanish soccer federation and its officials have been ordered to do the same.
Rubiales had also faced criticism for grabbing his crotch in a lewd victory gesture during the celebration, which took place in the presence of Spain's Queen Letizia and Princess Sof?a. The suspension by FIFA comes after Rubiales' refusal to resign raised tensions and further controversy surrounding the incident.
Rubiales, however, defended his actions, claiming that the kiss was consensual and that it was a spontaneous, mutual, and euphoric gesture. He stated that his relationship with all the players, including Hermoso, was excellent and that he had no ill intent. Rubiales argued that the pressure and the silence from Hermoso, as well as the subsequent statement she released, were unjust and amounted to a social assassination of his character.
Hermoso, on the other hand, issued a statement through her players' union, contradicting Rubiales' claims. She stated that she did not consent to the kiss and felt vulnerable and victimized by the impulsive and sexist act. The players' union expressed its support for Hermoso and vowed to ensure that the incident does not go unpunished.
The Spanish government, women players, soccer clubs, and officials had all expressed their dissatisfaction with Rubiales' conduct and called for his resignation. FIFA's suspension of Rubiales prevents him from carrying out any soccer duties and prohibits contact with other officials. The disciplinary panel will now investigate the incident and determine the appropriate sanctions, which could range from warnings and fines to a longer suspension from the sport.
FIFPRO, the global union for professional football players, has called for immediate disciplinary action against Rubiales and warned that any failure to address his conduct would send a damaging message to the football industry and society as a whole. The case has attracted significant attention and raises important questions about consent and appropriate behavior within the world of sports.
It remains to be seen how the disciplinary proceedings will unfold and what impact they will have on Rubiales' future in Spanish soccer. The controversy surrounding the incident highlights the need for greater awareness and education regarding consent and respect within the sporting community.