FIFA bans Luis Rubiales from football for three years

Luis Rubiales leaves the Audiencia Nacional court in Madrid
Former president of the Spanish football federation Luis Rubiales leaves the Audiencia Nacional court in Madrid on September 15, 2023 (Photo by THOMAS COEX/AFP via Getty Images)

The FIFA Disciplinary Committee has banned Luis Rubiales from all football-related activities at national and international level for three years. Rubiales will reportedly appeal the result of the investigation.

After Spain’s victory at the 2023 Women’s World Cup, the then-president of the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) kissed Jenni Hermoso. This was non-consensual and highlighted the deep-rooted issues with the way the Spanish players were being poorly treated by men whose job as professionals was to uplift and protect them.

An investigation into the incident at the World Cup saw Rubiales, the RFEF, and former Spanish head coach Jorge Vilda placed under a microscope, as Hermoso pursued legal action. Many members of the squad also boycotted the team in protest against the lack of action action.

Luis Rubiales receives three-year footballing ban

While Rubiales is finally facing consequences for his actions, is it enough? The problem has not gone away. Despite being sacked and currently under investigation, Vilda has now stepped into the role of manager for the Moroccan women’s national team.

Rubiales refused to resign from his position for three weeks following the events that unfolded. He maintained his innocence despite an obvious consensus that he was guilty, as many across the sporting world condemned his abuse of power. 

This three-year ban comes as FIFA ruled Rubiales violated Article 13 of its disciplinary code on August 20th, 2023. This article refers to “offensive behaviour and violations of the principles of fair play.”

FIFA said in a statement it “reiterates its absolute commitment to respecting and protecting the integrity of all people and ensuring that the basic rules of decent conduct are upheld.”

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