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Former Spanish football president Luis Rubiales accused of ‘inappropriate’ kisses during World Cup

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FIFA has considered tougher sanctions than the three-year ban it imposed on former Spanish Football Federation president Luis Rubiales, world football’s governing body said on Wednesday, releasing written reasons of his decision.

Rubiales was banned from all football-related activity for three years on October 30 after kissing player Jenni Hermoso on the lips, allegedly without her consent, following Spain’s victory over England in the World Cup final female in August.

Rubiales was also seen grabbing his crotch in the VIP area after the final, alongside Spain’s Queen Letizia and her 16-year-old daughter.

The summary states that on several occasions, Rubiales violated the fundamental rules of good conduct, resorted to offensive gestures or behaved in a way that brought football into disrepute.

The report also included a statement from Debbie Hewitt, president of the Football Association, who said that during the medal ceremony, Rubiales grabbed and caressed the face of England player Laura Coombs and apparently forcefully kissed Lucy Bronze on the face.

REUTERS

Rubiales responded to the statement by saying that Coombs had been injured and was wearing a bandage on her head which is why he tried to comfort her and that Bronze was champion of the Spanish Super Cup and that Rubiales had participated in the celebration.

“The Commission was keen to emphasize that it was tempted to impose harsher sanctions given the seriousness and seriousness of the incidents at issue as well as the profound negative impact that the defendant’s actions had on the image of FIFA, women’s football and women’s football. sport in general,” FIFA said.

He added that with “strong hesitation”, the disciplinary committee was convinced that a three-year ban would have the necessary deterrent effect.

When FIFA announced his conviction in October, Rubiales said he would appeal and accused FIFA of not giving him the opportunity to defend himself.

“I will go to the last resort to ensure that justice is done and the truth comes out,” he said in a statement via social media.

The Committee said it could not ignore the impact of Rubiales’ actions on Hermoso’s mental health and his career, and also said Rubiales used his position to issue statements using unwritten quotes or authorized by the player.

The Commission stressed that such a kiss, on the part of the president of an association, towards a player (of the opposite sex) of one of the national teams under his management and responsibility was totally unacceptable.

He said they were satisfied that there was no agreement between them about a possible kiss and that the player’s behavior before the kiss in no way implied that she might want or consent to be kissed.


England's Lucy Bronze celebrates scoring her first goal
Rubiales was also accused of kissing England’s Lucy Bronze during the World Cup. Action images via Reuters

FIFA said any party wishing to appeal must announce their intention to do so in writing within three days of being notified of the reasons for the decision.

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