The president of the Spanish soccer federation, Luis Rubiales, has been provisionally suspended by FIFA. This action comes after prominent player Jenni Hermoso accused Rubiales of a non-consensual kiss during the celebration of Spain’s Women’s World Cup victory. FIFA’s statement announced a 90-day suspension from all football-related activities at both national and international levels.
Hermoso’s accusation led to Rubiales and representatives from the Royal Spanish Football Federation being instructed not to contact Hermoso or anyone associated with her. The suspension was enacted based on the decision of the FIFA Disciplinary Committee’s chairman.
Rubiales responded by asserting his intent to defend himself legally against the allegations. The Spanish soccer federation expressed its support for Rubiales, emphasizing his trust in FIFA’s processes to establish his innocence. The federation also did not specify the details of the legal action it intended to take. As a result of the suspension, Pedro Rocha Junco, the vice president of the federation, has taken on the role of interim president.
Hermoso maintained that she did not consent to the kiss and felt vulnerable and victimized. She dismissed Rubiales’ explanation as untrue and reflective of a manipulative culture he fostered. Despite growing speculation that he might resign, Rubiales insisted on remaining in his position, describing the kiss as spontaneous, mutual, euphoric, and consensual.
During an emergency assembly, Rubiales adamantly refused to resign and labeled himself a target of false feminists engaging in a witch hunt. He described the incident as a celebratory gesture, comparing the kiss to one he might give his daughters.
However, Hermoso’s account contradicted Rubiales’ version.
She clarified that she did not consent to the kiss and did not attempt to lift the president, contrary to his claims. The Spanish government expressed support for Hermoso and denounced Rubiales’ actions. While the government lacks the authority to remove Rubiales from office, it is pursuing legal procedures to suspend him through a sports tribunal.
The Spanish Association of Professional Soccer Players condemned Rubiales’ actions, expressing sadness that such an event was tarnishing the Women’s World Cup victory. They stated their refusal to participate in the national team’s activities if the current leadership persisted.
In response to the situation, FIFA’s Disciplinary Committee initiated an investigation into Rubiales’ actions, citing potential violations of its disciplinary code.