FIFA has banned former Spanish Football Association president Luis Rubiales from all football-related activity for three years.
The 46-year-old former footballer responded angrily on social media insisting he would fight “to the last resort”.
Rubiales kissed Jenni Hermoso on the lips during the trophy presentation after Spain’s victory over England in August’s World Cup final, but Hermoso said the kiss was not consensual.
While Rubiales initially attempted to carry on in his role, he resigned last month and has now been punished following charges relating to “basic rules of decent conduct” and “behaving in a way that brings the sport of football and/or FIFA into disrepute”.
He responded on X: “FIFA DECISION: I will go to the last resort so that justice is done and the truth shines. Due to the many efforts of some politicians, media and institutions, the disproportion and injustice committed is becoming increasingly clear. PEOPLE, VERY MAJORITY, ARE CLEAR ABOUT IT”
Rubiales was already provisionally suspended with the Hermoso kiss one of three incidents cited. The others related to “grabbing his crotch/genitals in the VIP area” as a victory gesture with Queen Letizia of Spain and 16-year-old Princess Sofía standing nearby, and “carrying the Spanish player Athenea del Castillo over his shoulder during the post-match celebrations”.
“The FIFA disciplinary committee has banned Luis Rubiales, the former president of the Spanish Football Association (RFEF), from all football-related activities at national and international levels for three years, having found that he acted in breach of article 13 of the FIFA disciplinary code,” Monday’s statement read.
“This case relates to the events that occurred during the final of the FIFA Women’s World Cup on 20 August 2023, for which Mr Rubiales had been provisionally suspended for an initial period of 90 days.”
Rubiales can request details of the FIFA disciplinary verdict within 10 days and then file an appeal, soccer’s world body said. He could file a further appeal at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
Rubiales also is under criminal investigation in Spain for kissing Hermoso. He denied wrongdoing to a judge in Madrid who imposed a restraining order for Rubiales not to contact the player.