West News Wire: While continuing to look into the alleged forced kiss that was placed on star player Jenni Hermoso after the nation’s national team won the Women’s World Cup earlier this month in Sydney, FIFA has suspended Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) President Luis Rubiales for 90 days. 

In the interim, Rubiales is prohibited from taking part in any national or international football-related activity, according to a statement released by FIFA on Saturday. While its inquiry is ongoing, the FIFA Disciplinary Committee further directed Rubiales and other RFEF officials and employees to avoid making direct or indirect contact with Hermoso. 

“The FIFA Disciplinary Committee will not provide any further information on these disciplinary proceedings until a final decision has been taken,” the football governing body said. “FIFA reiterates its absolute commitment to respect the integrity of all persons and therefore condemns with the utmost vigor any behavior to the contrary.” 

On August 20, Spain overcame England to win the Women’s World Cup, and the disputed kiss took place on the podium for the winners. After the final whistle, Rubiales, who was also seen on video holding his crotch, hugged Hermoso and gave her a kiss on the lips as they celebrated their victory. 

Spanish women’s football’s all-time leading scorer Hermoso described the RFEF president’s actions as “sexist, impulsive, out of place, and non-consensual.” On Friday, she released a statement in which she reiterated her displeasure with what had transpired. I experienced vulnerability and was attacked. The women’s national team made a commitment not to compete once more until Rubiales and other federation officials quit. 

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The RFEF responded by threatening to take legal action against Hermoso in defense of Rubiales. The federation said it would present evidence to counter “each of the lies that are spread either by someone on behalf of the player or, if it is the case, by the player herself.” Rubiales refused to resign and claimed that he asked and received permission from Hermoso to give her “a little peck.” He added that he was being targeted by “false feminists” for “social murder.” 

The Spanish government’s sports council said on Friday that it would suspend Rubiales while his case is reviewed by a court of arbitration. If the court finds that he breached Spanish sports regulations, such as provisions on “dignity and decorum” and “abuses of authority,” he could be banned for between two and 15 years. 


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