FIFA Bans Luis Rubiales, Former Soccer Chief in Spain, for 3 Years

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By Ketrin Agustine

FIFA Bans Luis Rubiales, Former Soccer Chief in Spain, for 3 Years

Luis Rubiales, who led the country’s soccer federation, departed in disgrace after he forcibly kissed a player after the Women’s World Cup final.

Soccer’s global governing body on Monday barred Luis Rubiales, the former president of Spain’s soccer federation, from the sport for three years over his forcible kiss of a player after the Women’s World Cup final in August.

Mr. Rubiales kissed the player, Jennifer Hermoso, during the medals ceremony after the Women’s World Cup final on Aug. 20, a televised action that cast a pall over the Spanish team’s celebrations, drawing attention away from a proud national moment and toward a legacy of sexism in Spanish soccer. It also led to accusations in the days that followed that Mr. Rubiales and others at the federation had pressured the player to say the kiss was consensual.

Ms. Hermoso instead filed a criminal complaint of sexual assault, and Mr. Rubiales — who initially resisted calls to resign — was placed under a provisional 90-day suspension while FIFA, soccer’s governing body, investigated the episode. He quit as the head of Spain’s soccer federation less than a month after the final, under pressure from players who were refusing to take the field for the women’s national team.

On Monday, FIFA’s Disciplinary Committee said that Mr. Rubiales would be banned from “all football-related activities at the national and international levels for three years” for breaching the organization’s disciplinary code by his actions after the final on Aug. 20. It did not provide further details on the findings but said that Mr. Rubiales could request them, at which point a so-called reasoned decision would be made public.


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