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FIFA bans Luis Rubiales for three years over W’Cup kiss

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Former Spanish football chief Luis Rubiales faces a three-year ban from the sport, as confirmed by FIFA on Friday following the rejection of his appeal. 

FIFA stated, “The Appeal Committee was comfortably satisfied that Mr Rubiales behaved in a manner contrary to the principles enshrined under … the FIFA disciplinary code.”

The controversy stems from Rubiales kissing Spain midfielder Jenni Hermoso on the lips against her will after the Women’s World Cup final in Sydney last August. Rubiales, who denies the kiss was forced, is slated to face trial in Spain. Despite his ban from “football-related activities” by FIFA, he could still contest the decision at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Initially suspended by FIFA, Rubiales was subsequently banned for three years in October. 

The incident tarnished Spain’s historic Women’s World Cup victory, prompting widespread condemnation and calls for Rubiales’ resignation. After three weeks of mounting pressure, Rubiales eventually stepped down from his position.

The aftermath saw significant upheaval within Spain’s women’s football team, with coach Jorge Vilda being dismissed by the federation. 

Vilda and two others are facing coercion charges for allegedly pressuring Hermoso to claim that the kiss was consensual.

Spanish judge Francisco de Jorge of Spain’s Audiencia Nacional proposed that Rubiales stand trial on charges of sexual assault and coercion, asserting that the kiss “was not consensual and was a unilateral and unexpected move” by Rubiales.

 

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