FIFA, the world’s governing body for soccer, has handed down a significant three-year ban to Luis Rubiales, the former president of the Spanish Football Association (RFEF), in response to his unwanted kiss on Jennifer Hermoso, a star player of Spain’s Women’s World Cup-winning team. The ban comes after Rubiales’ actions during the medal ceremony at the Women’s World Cup final in August were found to be in violation of FIFA’s disciplinary code.
In a statement released on Monday, FIFA reiterated its unwavering commitment to respecting and protecting the integrity of all individuals and upholding the basic rules of decent conduct. FIFA also noted that the ban imposed on Rubiales remains subject to a potential appeal before the FIFA Appeal Committee.
The incident involving Rubiales and Jennifer Hermoso, which occurred during the Women’s World Cup final, sent shockwaves through the world of soccer. The fallout from this incident triggered a crisis within Spanish soccer and drew condemnation both in Spain and internationally. In the wake of several weeks of vehement criticism, Rubiales ultimately resigned from his position as the president of the Spanish Football Association last month.
At the time of the incident, Rubiales had claimed the kiss was “mutual.” However, Hermoso emphatically denied any consent and asserted that her personal boundaries were not respected.
Immediately following the incident, Rubiales had resisted calls for his resignation despite public outcry and protests. FIFA then imposed a provisional 90-day ban on Rubiales from football-related activities.
FIFA’s disciplinary code, specifically Article 13 titled “Offensive behaviour and violations of the principles of fair play,” empowers the organization to take action against individuals who are deemed to have violated “the basic rules of decent conduct” or behaved in a manner that tarnishes the reputation of the sport of football and/or FIFA itself.
In addition to FIFA’s sanctions, Luis Rubiales now faces an ongoing investigation for “the crimes of sexual assault and coercion,” a case being pursued by Spanish prosecutors.
Jennifer Hermoso, on the other hand, made a triumphant return to international football just last week. She marked her comeback with a brilliant performance, scoring a crucial goal in the 89th minute, securing a 1-0 victory for the reigning Women’s World Cup champions in the UEFA Women’s Nations League.
As FIFA continues to enforce stringent disciplinary measures to safeguard integrity and respect within the sport, this incident serves as a reminder of the significance of fair play and ethical behaviour on and off the field.
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