FIFA Suspends Spain Soccer Federation President – FIFA has suspended Luis Rubiales, the president of the Spanish soccer federation, following his behavior at the Women’s World Cup final. This behavior involved him kissing a player without her consent. Rubiales will be relieved of his soccer responsibilities for a period of 90 days while an investigation into his actions takes place.
Despite facing pressure from the Spanish government, women players, soccer clubs, and officials, Rubiales did not step down from his position during an emergency meeting of the Spanish soccer federation’s general assembly. FIFA’s disciplinary panel will determine the outcome of the investigation, with potential sanctions ranging from warnings and fines to sport suspensions.
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No specific timeline for the ruling has been provided by FIFA. FIFA’s action followed a situation where the Spanish federation had gone so far as to consider taking measures against star player Jenni Hermoso. This was due to her refusal to accept Rubiales’s account of the kiss incident that occurred during the on-field medal and trophy presentation after Spain’s 1-0 victory over England in Sydney, Australia.
FIFA’s suspension is intended to prevent Rubiales from participating in soccer-related activities or communicating with other officials. FIFA’s disciplinary judge, Jorge Palacio, also stepped in on Saturday to safeguard the “fundamental rights” of Hermoso and maintain the integrity of the disciplinary proceedings. In response to this, Palacio directed Rubiales to abstain from making contact with Jennifer Hermoso or attempting to do so, either directly or through intermediaries.
FIFA released a statement outlining these developments. “Likewise, the RFEF [Spanish soccer federation] and its officials or employees, directly or through third parties, are ordered to refrain from contacting the professional player of the Spanish national team Ms. Jennifer Hermoso and her close environment,” FIFA said.
Palacio, a Colombian lawyer with previous experience in women’s rights, currently serves as a former member of Colombia’s constitutional court. Rubiales, who holds the third-highest elected position within the European soccer body UEFA, is also a vice president there. He earns an annual salary of $270,000 along with expenses.
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He was elected to the executive committee by UEFA member federations in 2019 and swiftly advanced to the vice presidency by UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin shortly after. Both UEFA and Ceferin have refrained from making any comments regarding the recent Rubiales controversy. FIFA, on the other hand, has now intervened in the matter on two occasions.