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26th Aug 2023

FIFA suspends Spanish football chief amid World Cup kiss row

Joseph Loftus

On Wednesday, the world football’s governing body FIFA announced they were opening disciplinary proceedings against the Spanish FA president after he kissed a player on the lips at the Women’s World Cup final. Now they have confirmed that Rubiales has been suspended.

Luis Rubiales, president of the Spanish football federation, came under fire for two overly intrusive and personal gestures towards Spain striker Jenni Hermoso.

In the aftermath, the Spanish women’s football squad announced that they would not play another game until Rubiales stood down – while now the Spanish FA have hit back, threatening legal action against Hermoso for her ‘lies’, or so they say.

Hermoso and her Spanish teammates woke up as world champions after defeating England 1-0 in the World Cup final. Hermoso had a second half penalty saved by Mary Earps but had another solid game for her side.

Following the game, during the medal ceremony, Rubiales grabbed Hermoso for an embrace and, holding her head in his hands, planted a kiss on her lips.

Hermoso was picked up on camera saying she ‘did not enjoy that’ kiss.

Rubiales then visited the victorious Spain dressing room to join in with the celebrations.

In a live stream captured by Barcelona forward Salma Celeste Paralluelo Ayingono, Rubiales promised the victorious squad he would bring them all to Ibiza, then made a remark about wanting to marry Jenni Hermoso, the subject of his earlier kiss.

Jenni Hermoso later commented on the Rubiales embrace after the game, saying: “It was a totally spontaneous mutual gesture because of the immense joy that winning a World Cup brings.

“The president and I have a great relationship, his behaviour with all of us has been outstanding and it was a natural gesture of affection and gratitude.”

However then Hermoso appeared to backtrack on her comments once more, saying she felt pressured into saying what she said.

Earlier today (August 26) the Spanish FA have released a statement backing Rubiales, saying they will be taking “necessary legal action” and told the players that “playing for the national team is an obligation on any member of the federation called upon to do so.”

The statement goes: “The Royal Spanish Football Federation has learned of the statement made public by the Futpro union in relation to the intervention of the President of the RFEF, Mr. Luis Rubiales, on the occasion of the Extraordinary Assembly of the RFEF.

“In the union’s note, it is said to speak on behalf of Mrs. Jennifer Hermoso and some statements by the player are attributed to her that are in quotation marks, implying that they have been pronounced by her.

“The RFEF wishes to inform that the competent bodies of the RFEF that are processing the complaints filed with the Federation have tried to contact Ms. Jennifer Hermoso, having been unsuccessful at all times.”

The statement continues: “The RFEF announces the presentation of as many legal actions as may correspond in defense of the honorability of the President of the RFEF, who has exposed in a clear and simple way how the events that are the cause of conflict and ridicule on the part of broad sectors of the society occurred. society against Mr. President.

“The note says (quotation marks attributed to Mrs. Jennifer Hermoso): “I want to clarify that, as seen in the images, at no time did I consent to the kiss he gave me and of course in no case did I seek to raise the president . I do not tolerate that my word is questioned, much less that words are invented that I have not said.

“In a rule of law, as the president has defended, opinions are countered with facts and evidence and lies are rebutted in court.

“The president of the RFEF has wanted to take this issue with the utmost respect for the players and the institutions and only when an unassumable red line has been crossed has he come out publicly to give his version of the facts.

“The President’s version of events is verified in the internal files that have been opened, and to date Mrs. Jennifer Hermoso has not responded to any of the requests made.

“The first demonstration that the facts exposed by Mr. President are absolutely true and that he is not lying, we are going to begin to provide them in this statement with accompanying images.”

However now the story has taken another turn with FIFA suspending Rubiales from all duties.

FIFA explained that Rubiales has been suspended “from all football-related activities at national and international level”. They added: “This suspension, which will be effective as of today, is for an initial period of 90 days.”