FIFA Bans Former Football President for Three Years

( – The Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) banned on October 30 former Spain’s soccer president Luis Rubiales from soccer-related activities for three years, after his non-consensual kiss to female soccer star Jenni Hermoso. Rubiales kissed her on the lips during the celebrations of Spain’s Women’s World Cup victory over England back in August.

While FIFA initially banned him for 90 days, the soccer’s governing body notified in a statement that its Disciplinary Committee extended his suspension. It also said that the ban would apply both in Spain and any other nation affiliated with the soccer association, as Rubiales violated Article 13 of the Disciplinary Code.

According to Spanish newspapers Marca and As, the incident overshadowed what both described as one of Spain’s biggest sporting moments ever. After the video of the kiss became viral, Hermoso said on her Twitter account that the kiss wasn’t consensual. However, Rubiales argued to the contrary and said he wasn’t going to resign from his position, as he claimed he was the victim of a “witch hunt.”

Following these declarations, numerous Spain male and female soccer players signed a statement where they said they wouldn’t play for the national team until he was removed. Rubiales eventually resigned on September 10 not only as Spain’s federation president but also from his role as the UEFA vice-president.

Rubiales, who is also a retired soccer player, remains under criminal probe in Spain and still denies any wrongdoing. On September 15, a Spanish court handed down a restraining order that prohibits him from going within 200 meters of Hermoso or even contacting her. The decision from the court took place after he appeared at the National Audience Court in Madrid to deny coercion and sexual assault allegations that the soccer star filed against him.

In addition to the non-consensual kiss, Rubiales also carried soccer player Athenea Castillo over his shoulder and grabbed his genitals during the celebrations.

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