The disciplinary committee of FIFA has announced that they have initiated disciplinary proceedings against Luis Rubiales, the president of the Spanish Football Association (RFEF). This action comes in response to an unsolicited kiss Rubiales gave to Jenni Hermoso, a member of the Spain Women’s World Cup-winning team. The incident took place during the medal presentation ceremony after the team’s victory over England in the final. The controversial kiss has sparked outrage both within Spain and internationally, with Hermoso stating that such actions should never go unpunished.
In a statement, the FIFA Disciplinary Committee informed Rubiales that they are opening proceedings against him based on the events that transpired during the final. The committee believes that Rubiales’ actions may constitute violations of article 13, paragraphs 1 and 2 of the FIFA Disciplinary Code. FIFA is committed to upholding the integrity of all individuals and strongly condemns any behavior that goes against this principle. The committee will provide further information only once a final decision has been reached.
Reactions and Consequences
While the UEFA has not yet responded to requests for comments, the pressure on Rubiales continues to mount. Apart from the unsolicited kiss, he has also faced criticism for other inappropriate actions, including grabbing his crotch, hugging and kissing other players, and throwing Athenea del Castillo over his shoulder. Initially, Rubiales dismissed these criticisms by referring to the critics as “idiots.” However, he later posted a video apology. Nevertheless, Acting Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez deemed the apology insufficient and inadequate.
Rubiales’ behavior has been met with widespread condemnation from various quarters. Government ministers have called for his resignation, and the Spanish Players’ Association (AFE), the female players’ equivalent (FUTPRO), Liga F, and FIFPRO have all denounced his actions. Hermoso, who plays for Pachuca in Liga MX, has delegated the handling of the issue to FUTPRO and her agency, TMJ. FUTPRO has vowed to work towards sanctioning Rubiales and implementing measures to protect players against similar unacceptable actions.
RFEF’s Meeting and Rubiales’ Future
The RFEF has scheduled a meeting on Friday to tackle the fallout from this incident. Rubiales’ position as the president of the Spanish Football Association is now under increased threat. The disciplinary proceedings initiated by FIFA may have serious consequences for his future in football governance. As the situation unfolds, the football community anxiously awaits the final decision of the FIFA Disciplinary Committee.