Spain: FIFA on Saturday suspended Spanish Football Federation President Luis Rubiales after the soccer governing body opened disciplinary proceedings into what a member of Spain’s Women’s National Team said was a non-consensual kiss he gave her after the team’s World Cup win last week.
Rubiales’ suspension, which takes effect immediately, bars him from all soccer-related activities at both the national and international level for 90 days, pending the results of the governing body’s disciplinary proceedings, FIFA announced in a statement on Saturday.
FIFA also ordered Rubiales, as well as the Spanish Football Federation” to “refrain, through himself or third parties,” from contacting Jenni Hermoso, the national team member he kissed, “or her close environment.”
Rubiales’ kiss, which Hermoso said was not consensual, has garnered international scrutiny, and prompted the Spanish women’s national soccer team to release a joint statement this week refusing to play any further matches until Rubiales is removed from his post, just hours after Rubiales refused to step down.
On Friday, Hermos had responded to a defiant speech by Rubiales, during which he described the kiss as “mutual,” with a statement which said that at no point did she consent to the kiss.
Writing on social media, Hermoso said: “I felt vulnerable and a victim of an impulse-driven, sexist, out of place act without any consent on my part.”
The row has overshadowed Spain’s historic victory in Sydney, Australia, and dominated headlines throughout the week.
Following Spain’s 1-0 win over England in the final, Rubiales was filmed kissing Hermoso on the lips after she had collected her winners’ medal, an act which the 33-year-old said later that day she “didn’t like” and “didn’t expect.”