FIFA suspends Spain federation president for kissing player

FIFA suspends Spain federation president for kissing player

FIFA suspended Royal Spanish Football Federation president Luis Rubiales for at least 90 days after he refused to step down following his unsolicited kiss of player Jenni Hermoso after the Women’s World Cup final.

Rubiales, 46, is banned from soccer-related activities at the national and international level. He also is to refrain from attempting to contact Hermoso or any parties close to her.

Also Saturday, Spain’s National Sports Council filed a formal complaint against him with a court that hears sports-related cases.

“We are ready for this to be the #MeToo of Spanish football and for this to be a change,” the group’s head, Victor Francos Diaz, said Friday, per The New York Times.

FIFA, soccer’s world governing body, opened disciplinary proceedings against Rubiales on Thursday. Rubiales refused to resign, saying on Friday that the kiss was “mutual and with consent.”

Hermoso said in a statement that she did not appreciate being kissed.

“I felt vulnerable and was a victim of assault, what happened was sexist, impulsive, out of place, and non-consensual,” Hermoso said Friday.

Rubiales has remained defiant, claiming the kiss was consensual.

“Do you think this (incident) is so serious that I should go, after the best management in the history of Spanish football?” Rubiales said. “Let me tell you: I’m not going to resign. I’m not going to resign. I’m not going to resign.”

So far, Rubiales has the backing of Spain’s soccer federation, which said Friday that he did nothing wrong and that Hermoso has changed her account of the incident. It also is threatening legal action in the matter.

Hermoso, 33, said Friday that the federation had pressured her into making an initial statement “that had little or nothing to do with my feelings.”

On Friday, all 23 players who won the World Cup with Spain — backed by more than 50 other female soccer players — signed a statement vowing they won’t represent the nation again until Rubiales is refused.

—Field Level Media

Original source here

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Anthony Barnett
Anthony is the author of the Science & Technology section of ANH.