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FIFA Suspends Spain Soccer Chief Luis Rubiales Over Unwanted Kiss with Women’s World Cup Winner

An image of Luis Rubiales
Spanish Football Federation President Apologizes For Post-Win Kiss At Women's World Cup

Spanish soccer federation president Luis Rubiales’ unwanted kiss on Women’s World Cup Winner Jenni Hermoso has triggered a crisis in Spanish soccer, with world governing body FIFA suspending the president and Spain’s women’s coaches resigning en masse.

FIFA said it was suspending Rubiales from “all football-related activities at national and international level” for 90 days while disciplinary proceedings are underway, deepening a scandal that tainted a historic victory for the women’s team.

Rubiales says the kiss was consensual and has refused to resign over the incident despite fierce criticism from Hermoso, her teammates and the Spanish government.

Hermoso said the kiss was unwanted and she and the entire World Cup-winning squad have refused to play while Rubiales remains president.

“I did not like this incident,” she wrote in a statement on X, formerly known as Twitter. “I felt vulnerable and a victim of an impulse-driven, sexist out of place act without any consent on my part.”

The Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) has stood by the president, threatening legal action against Hermoso and others.

Read: Spanish Football Federation President Apologizes For Post-Win Kiss At Women’s World Cup

FIFA also banned Rubiales and the Spanish football federation from contacting Hermoso, to preserve her “fundamental rights.” Following the kiss – seen by millions of viewers around the world – Hermoso said she had been asked to “alleviate the pressure” on Rubiales.

After the news of the FIFA ruling, the RFEF named an interim president and said that Rubiales maintained his innocence.

“Rubiales has said he will defend himself before the pertinent agencies and fully confides in the work of FIFA, and reiterates that, in this way, he will have the opportunity to begin his defense so that the truth prevails and his full innocence is shown,” a statement from the federation said.

FIFA’s suspension comes after the scandal escalated further when Spain’s soccer federation threatened to take legal action against Hermoso, accusing the 33-year-old athlete of lying about being kissed by Rubiales.

“The evidence is conclusive. The President has not lied,” the federation said, alongside descriptions of photos attempting to support Rubiales’ claim.

The federation also said players had “an obligation” to participate in matches “if they are called for it,” after all 23 members of Spain’s World Cup-winning squad, including Hermoso, and nearly 50 other professional women soccer players, said they would not play again for the country until Rubiales is removed from his position.

On Saturday, the federation doubled down on its accusations of lying against Hermoso. In a since deleted statement, the RFEF said, “We have to state that Ms. Jennifer Hermoso lies in every statement she makes against the president” and again threatened legal action. It is unclear why the RFEF chose to delete the statement from its website.

On Friday, Rubiales gave a defiant speech, saying several times he would not stand down, speaking of “unjust” campaigns and “fake feminism.” He also called the kiss, which took place after Hermoso collected her winners’ medal, “mutual” and described a conversation in which he asked the athlete for a “small peck” and she consented.

Responding to the speech, Hermoso said in her statement on X that “at no time did the conversation to which Mr. Luis Rubiales refers to in his address take place, and above all, was his kiss ever consensual.” She added that she “felt vulnerable” and “was not respected.”

She also described refusing requests to issue a statement to “alleviate the pressure” on Rubiales, saying she had been “under continuous pressure to make a statement that could justify Mr. Luis Rubiales’ actions.”

The fallout over Rubiales’ behavior has built throughout the week, casting a spotlight on gender rights and sexism in a country that has seen huge marches against sexual abuse and violence.


Email your news TIPS to or WhatsApp +254707482874


Email your news TIPS to or WhatsApp +254707482874

Written by KahawaTungu Reporter


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