FIFA upholds three-year football ban against Luis Rubiales

Luis Rubiales leaves the Audiencia Nacional court in Madrid on September 15, 2023.
Luis Rubiales leaves the Audiencia Nacional court in Madrid on September 15, 2023. (Photo by THOMAS COEX/AFP via Getty Images)

Ex-Spanish football federation president Luis Rubiales has lost his appeal against a three-year ban from FIFA on all football related activities.

Rubiales came under fire last August, after kissing Spain’s Jenni Hermoso on the lips during the medal ceremony at the Women’s World Cup final. The striker later filed a legal complaint against Rubiales after citing the kiss was not consensual. Despite Rubiales describing the kiss as a ‘consensual peck’, he was forced to stand down as president of the Spanish Football Federation.

Former manager of the national team, Jorge Vilda was sacked in September and was investigated as a result of the criminal case. At the time, prosecutors previously charged Rubiales with sexual assault and coercion.

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Last week, a statement from world football’s government body claimed it was “comfortably satisfied that Mr Rubiales behaved in a manner contrary to the principles enshrined under article 13 of the Fifa disciplinary code during and after the final of the FIFA Women’s World Cup.”

In response, a Spanish judge proposed that Rubiales should stand trial. The kiss was described as “not consensual and… a unilateral and surprising initiative.”

Read: Spain’s Aleixandri and García speak out on World Cup absence

A statement issued by the press office of the Audiencia Nacional court read: “The judge of the Audiencia Nacional Francisco de Jorge has proposed to try the former president of the Spanish Football Federation Luis Rubiales for the non-consensual kiss to the player of the Spanish national team Jennifer Hermoso after the final of the last World Cup, held on August 20 (Australia).

“The magistrate also proposes to try Rubiales, along with the sports director of the men’s team Albert Luque, the former coach of the women’s team Jorge Vilda, and the former head of marketing of the federation Ruben Rivera for the subsequent pressure to which the player was subjected to agree to make a public statement affirming that the kiss had been consensual.

“In order to move to an abbreviated procedure, in which the investigation is concluded considering that all the pertinent steps have been taken, the judge concludes that the kiss to the player ‘was not consensual and was a unilateral and unexpected move’ by Rubiales.”

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