The International Federation of Football Associations (FIFA) has suspended the president of the Spanish Football Federation, Luis Rubiales Bejar, after an incident involving kissing a player during the World Cup finals.
Less than a week ago, Spain emerged victorious in the World Cup, beating England 1-0. During the medal ceremony, Luis Rubiales personally congratulated each player in the long line. While hugging all the players and kissing each other on the cheek, he kissed striker Gini Hermoso on the lips.
🚨🇪🇸 Spanish football chief under fire after giving World Cup winner Jennifer Hermoso a kiss on the lips during the presentation! pic.twitter.com/gzxYkgUj5G— Terror Alarm (@Terror_Alarm) August 21, 2023
Five days later, Hermoso issued a statement clarifying that the kiss was not consensual, and FIFA opened an investigation into the Luis Rubiales case. As a result, the Spanish Football Federation was notified of the president’s suspension by FIFA.
Hermoso expressed her feelings in a statement on the “X” website (formerly Twitter), saying: “I felt vulnerable, as if I were the victim of a reckless and sexist act that was inappropriate and without my consent. My dignity was simply not respected.”
Official Announcement. August 25th,2023. pic.twitter.com/lQb18IGsk2— Jenn1 Hermos0 (@Jennihermoso) August 25, 2023
As a result, the entire women’s team decided not to participate in any further matches until Luis Rubiales stepped down as president. Despite the pressure, Luis Rubiales confirmed that the kiss was consensual. He intends to “defend himself legally” and puts his full confidence in FIFA, according to the federation’s website.
During Rubiales’ 90-day suspension, Pedro Rocha Junco will take over as interim president.
This was the third participation of the Spanish women’s team in the World Cup finals and its first victory. Spain and Germany are the only two countries to have won the World Cup in both men’s and women’s football.