Luis Rubiales has been provisionally suspended by FIFA for 90 days amid a World Cup kissing row. The Spanish football chief sparked international fury after he gave a non-consensual kiss on the lips to Spain player Jenni Hermoso as she celebrated her team’s victory at the Women’s World Cup.
The 46-year-old was seen grabbing Ms Hermoso before he kissed her on the lips during the awards ceremony following Spain’s 1-0 win over England last Sunday in Australia. He later joked that he would “take the team to Ibiza” and marry Hermoso there.
On an Instagram Live video following the incident, Ms Hermoso said: “But what can I do? I didn’t like it, eh.” Mr Rubiales, who has refused to resign, made an attempt to apologise, saying his actions had no “ill intentions” and happened in a “moment of the highest exuberance.
However, he has since come under fire from Spanish politicians including Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez, who slammed his behaviour as “unacceptable”. Equality Minister Irene Montero went as far as to say the kiss was a display of “sexual violence.”
FIFA said it had suspended Mr Rubiales “from all football-related activities at national and international level”. The suspension, which will be effective as of today (August 26), is for an “initial period of 90 days” pending disciplinary proceedings.
Spain’s football federation has argued the kiss was consensual and has threatened legal action in order to defend Mr Rubiales.