Spain’s Kiss Controversy: FIFA Suspends Football Chief Luis Rubiales For 90 Days

The Spanish football federation chief was seen objectionably kissing a footballer after the nation's World Cup win.

3 min read
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The chief of Royal Spanish Football Federation, Luis Rubiales has been provisionally suspended by Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) for three months, for his objectionable gestures after Spain's FIFA Women's World Cup triumph, including 'kissing' footballer Jenni Hermoso.

It is being alleged that Rubiales forcibly kissed Hermoso without her consent, albeit the chief claimed that the footballer had given her a nod to go ahead and hence, it was a consensual kiss.

The Spanish women's team refuted the claim, and demanded an apology and resignation from Rubiales. Moreover, they issued a joint statement, stating they will not play until Rubiales is removed from his position, whilst critising his claims of the footballers staging “false feminism”.

What Is the Incident?

On Sunday, 20 August, the female Spanish footballers created history by winning their maiden FIFA Women's World Cup title. During the medal distribution ceremony, Luis Rubiales was spotted kissing footballer Jenni Hermoso, which sparked a raging debate. Hermoso herself expressed dislike towards the incident later, saying “Hey, but I didn’t like that!”

What Did the Chief Say?

The Spanish chief was quick to apologise for the incident as he offered an apology on Monday, but also said that the kiss was ‘consensual’ and that he had asked Spain forward if he could give her a little peck to which, according to him, she said ‘ok’. However, such claims were rubbished by Jenni Hermoso in a statement released by her on Friday.


How Did the Player and Her Team Respond?

The Spanish football team has made it clear, via a joint statement, that they will not be returning to play till Luis Rubiales is not removed from the post of Spain Football’s chief.

In her statement, Hermoso all the claims made by the Football chief that the kiss happened with her consent. She called Rubiales’ description of events as “categorically false” and also stated that no such conversation took place between the two when she was asked if he could give her a peck.

“I feel the need to denounce what happened because I believe that no person, in any work, sports or social environment, should be a victim of this type of non-consensual behaviour,” she said. She also claimed that the Spanish federation was asking her to release a statement in support of the chief to lift the pressure off his shoulders.


Will Rubiales Resign?

Rubiales has made it clear that he won't be resigning, while maintaining that the kiss was "spontaneous, mutual, euphoric and consensual." Speaking in front of the federation on Friday, he said that he will "fight until the end" and that "false feminists" are trying to kill him.

How Did FIFA React?

FIFA has now announced that Rubiales will be provisionally suspended from all football related activities for a period of 3 months and in the meanwhile the International governing body will begin the probe.

In its official statement, FIFA said, "The chairman of the FIFA Disciplinary Committee, Jorge Ivan Palacio (Colombia), in use of the powers granted by article 51 of the FIFA Disciplinary Code (FDC), has decided today to provisionally suspend Mr. Luis Rubiales from all football-related activities at national and international level. This suspension, which will be effective as of today, is for an initial period of 90 days, pending the disciplinary proceedings opened against Mr. Luis Rubiales on Thursday, 24 August."

How Did the Spanish Government & Football Federation React?

The Spanish government feels that Rubiales apology is "not enough."

It was reported that RFEF held to discuss Rubiales' future and potential successors. However, late at night on Friday, RFEF released a statement defending Rubiales' actions and held that the kiss was consensual, denying Hermoso's claims.

"The RFEF and Mr President will demonstrate each of the lies that are spread either by someone on behalf of the player or, if applicable, by the player herself. The RFEF and the President, given the seriousness of the content of the press release from the Futpro union, will initiate the corresponding legal actions," the statement read.

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