The embattled Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) President, Luis Rubiales, who have been under pressure to resign his post after the controversial kiss with Spanish Women World Cup team forward player, Jenni Hermoso, has now been suspended by FIFA.
The global football body in a press statement it just released placed Rubiales on a 90-day suspension while full investigations into the scandal is conducted.
After Spanish victory over England 1-0 in the finals of the 2023 Women’s World Cup in Australia on August 20, a jubilant Rubiales hugged Hermoso passionately as he did other players, but then kissed her on the lips, sparking angry reactions back in Spain, and almost overshadowing celebrations for the coveted win.
Under pressure to resign, Rubiales had defiantly resisted, insisting the kiss with the player was consensual and that it “was the same I could give one of my daughters“, and describing those demanding his resignation as “false feminists“.
The 33 years old Hermoso on her part said she was “vulnerable” and “the victim of an aggression” and that “in no moment” did she consent to Rubiales kiss. Then all 56 members of the Spanish women’s team rallied round her, declaring they were boycotting all matches by Spain in the future until Rubiales stepped down.
The Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) however stood by their boss insisting “The evidence is conclusive. The President has not lied,” that the kiss was mutual citing pictorial and video evidence of the scene. It also warned the players that playing for Spain was “an obligation….if they are called for it,”.
This RFEF hardline may have necessitated FIFA to also order in its press release that neither Rubiales nor the Spanish football federation could contact Hermoso throughout the period of investigation. It said this is to preserve her “fundamental rights.”
Hermoso herself had claimed she’s been under pressure from RFEF members to “alleviate the pressure” on Rubiales.
Rubiales is also an executive committee member of UEFA, but the European football federation took a studied silence since the breakout of the controversy.
Rubiales continues to insist on his innocence saying he is ready to defend himself before any investigative panel and even possibly in a court of law.
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