FIFA has announced that it is imposing a three-year ban on Luis Rubiales, the former Spanish football chief, due to his non-consensual kiss on World Cup winner Jenni Hermoso during a medal ceremony. This decision follows FIFA’s initial suspension of Rubiales for 90 days after the incident, which occurred after Spain’s victory in the Women’s World Cup in Sydney back in August.
Jenni Hermoso expressed that the unwanted kiss made her feel “vulnerable and like the victim of an assault.” She shared her perspective on social media, labeling the kiss as “an impulsive, macho act, out of place and with no type of consent on my part.” In response to the incident and the subsequent backlash, Rubiales resigned from his position as the head of the Spanish football federation in September.
FIFA has now extended his suspension to three years, stating, “The FIFA disciplinary committee has banned Luis Rubiales, the former president of the Spanish Football Association (RFEF), from all football-related activities at national and international levels for three years,” according to a statement from the Zurich-based organization.
Rubiales, who had maintained that the kiss was consensual, received notification of the decision on Monday. He has ten days to request a “motivated decision,” which, if requested, will be published on FIFA’s legal website.
This ban comes after FIFA initially suspended Rubiales for 90 days on August 26 to allow for an investigation into his behavior during the Women’s World Cup final. In addition to the unwanted kiss, Rubiales also faced scrutiny for other actions during the event, including grabbing his crotch to celebrate Spain’s victory over England and carrying Spain player Athenea del Castillo over his shoulder during post-match celebrations.
Jenni Hermoso had previously filed a legal complaint regarding the non-consensual kiss. Rubiales is also under criminal investigation in Spain, although he maintains his innocence.
FIFA has not disclosed the details of the verdict reached by its disciplinary committee judges, but it reaffirmed its commitment to respecting and protecting individuals’ integrity and upholding the rules of decent conduct.