FIFA, the global governing body of football, has announced a three-year ban on former Spanish football chief Luis Rubiales. The suspension stems from an unsolicited kiss he forced upon World Cup winner Jenni Hermoso during the medal ceremony after Spain’s Women’s World Cup victory in Sydney. FIFA’s decision is in response to Hermoso’s description of the incident as an “impulsive, macho act” that left her feeling vulnerable and assaulted. Despite Rubiales’ claims of consent, FIFA’s disciplinary committee found his actions violated the basic rules of decent conduct.
The Controversial Kiss
The controversial incident occurred after Spain’s Women’s World Cup victory in Sydney in August. As the medal ceremony concluded, Luis Rubiales, then head of the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF), kissed Jenni Hermoso on the lips without her consent. Hermoso, a World Cup winner, took to social media to express her discomfort, stating that the kiss was an unsolicited act that made her feel like a victim of assault.
Luis Rubiales’ actions generated significant public backlash. In response to the controversy and allegations, he resigned from his position as the head of the RFEF in September. While he maintained that the kiss was consensual, FIFA conducted a thorough investigation into the matter.
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FIFA’s disciplinary committee reviewed the incident and decided to impose a three-year ban on Luis Rubiales from all football-related activities at both national and international levels. The decision reflects FIFA’s commitment to respecting and protecting the integrity of all individuals and ensuring that basic rules of decent conduct are upheld within the sport.
While the ban is in place, there remains the possibility of an appeal before the FIFA Appeal Committee. Rubiales has ten days to request a “motivated decision,” which, if requested, will be published on FIFA’s legal website.
FIFA’s decision to ban Luis Rubiales for three years is a significant step in upholding the principles of consent, respect, and decency within the world of football. The incident serves as a reminder that inappropriate behavior is unacceptable, regardless of one’s position within the sport. It underlines FIFA’s commitment to ensuring that all individuals, regardless of gender, are treated with respect and dignity within the football community.
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