FIFA has suspended Luis Rubiales, the president of the Spanish soccer federation, from his position following an investigation into his behavior at the Women’s World Cup final. Rubiales was seen kissing a player without her consent.
Rubiales has been removed from his soccer duties for 90 days during the disciplinary proceedings that were initiated against him on Thursday. Despite facing intense pressure from various quarters, including the Spanish government, women players, soccer clubs, and officials, Rubiales refused to resign from his soccer presidency at an emergency meeting of the Spanish soccer federation’s general assembly on Friday.
The decision to suspend Rubiales came after the Spanish federation even threatened to take action against star player Jenni Hermoso for not accepting Rubiales’s version of the kiss incident. The kiss occurred during the on-field medal and trophy presentation after Spain’s 1-0 victory over England in Sydney, Australia.
With FIFA’s suspension in place, Rubiales will not be able to work in soccer or have any contact with other officials.
FIFA Disciplinary Judge Takes Action to Protect Player’s Rights and Case Integrity
FIFA disciplinary judge Jorge Palacio has stepped in to safeguard the “fundamental rights” of Jennifer Hermoso, a professional player for the Spanish national football team, as well as the integrity of the ongoing disciplinary case. In a statement, FIFA announced that Palacio has issued an order prohibiting Luis Rubiales, vice president of UEFA and a high-ranking official in European soccer, from contacting or attempting to contact Hermoso directly or indirectly. Additionally, the Spanish soccer federation (RFEF) and its officials or employees have been directed to refrain from any form of contact with Hermoso and her close circle.
Palacio, a Colombian lawyer with expertise in women’s rights and a former member of Colombia’s constitutional court, demonstrated his commitment to upholding fair treatment within the sport.
Rubiales holds a prominent position as the third-ranking elected member of the executive committee of UEFA, which earns him an annual salary of 250,000 euros ($270,000) along with covered expenses. He was elected by UEFA member federations in 2019 and swiftly promoted to the vice presidency by UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin shortly after.
As of now, neither UEFA nor Čeferin have made any public statements regarding the Rubiales scandal. However, FIFA’s intervention in this case marks its second involvement, showcasing their commitment to ensuring justice and fairness in football.