Luis Rubiales in 2023. Alamy
Luis Rubiales

FIFA bans Rubiales for three years for kissing Spanish player after 2023 World Cup final

Luis Rubiales announced he will be appealing the ban from FIFA.

LAST UPDATE | Oct 30th 2023, 3:37 PM

FIFA HAS IMPOSED a three-year ban on former Spanish football chief Luis Rubiales following his kissed Spanish forward Jenni Hermoso on the lips after the World Cup final in Australia in August.

“The FIFA disciplinary committee has banned Luis Rubiales, the former president of the Spanish Football Association (RFEF), from all football-related activities at national and international levels for three years,” world football’s governing body said in a statement.

Rubiales has since announced he will be appealing the ban.

“The decision remains subject to a possible appeal before the FIFA Appeal Committee,” the statement said.

“FIFA reiterates its absolute commitment to respecting and protecting the integrity of all people and ensuring that the basic rules of decent conduct are upheld.”

FIFA, the international football association, opened disciplinary proceedings against the ex-Spanish FA president after Rubiales has faced heavy criticism for his conduct and behaviour at the 2023 Women’s World Cup Final.

Rubiales was seen grabbing his crotch in celebration of Spain’s victory over England, while stood metres away from Spain’s Queen Letizia and her teenage daughter Sofia.

Rubiales then kissed Spain midfielder Jenni Hermoso on the lips during the trophy celebration.

This sparked a major player protest within the Men and Women’s Spanish international teams, as well as protests in the streets of Spain in August and September.

Separate judicial proceedings later ruled that Rubiales was to stay away from Hermoso after a Spanish judge imposed a restraining order on the ex-Spanish football chief.

Hermoso said the incident left her feeling “vulnerable and like the victim of an assault”, with a statement on social media describing it as “an impulsive, macho act, out of place and with no type of consent on my part”.

Rubiales, who repeatedly insisted the kiss was consensual, resigned as head of the Spanish football federation in September.

© AFP 2023 

Includes reporting by Muiris O’Cearbhaill