‘Bizarre’ incident involving Spanish FA president ‘tarnishes’ Women’s World Cup win (1:07)
Alex Kirkland reacts to the incident involving Spanish FA president Luis Rubiales as he kissed midfielder Jennifer Hermoso during postmatch celebrations after Spain’s 1-0 win over England in the Women’s World Cup final. (1:07)
Sam Marsden, Barcelona correspondentAug 24, 2023, 08:11 AM ET
FIFA’s disciplinary committee has opened disciplinary proceedings against Luis Rubiales, the president of the Spanish FA (RFEF), following his unsolicited kiss on Women’s World Cup winner Jenni Hermoso’s lips, the football governing body said on Thursday.
The incident — which happened as Rubiales was presenting the players with their medals after they beat England 1-0 in the final on Sunday — sparked outrage within and outside Spain, with Hermoso saying such acts should “never go unpunished” through her players’ union on Wednesday.
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“The FIFA Disciplinary Committee has informed Rubiales that it is opening disciplinary proceedings against him based on the events that occurred during the final,” a statement read.
“The events may constitute violations of article 13 paragraphs 1 and 2 of the FIFA Disciplinary Code.
“The FIFA Disciplinary Committee will only provide further information on these disciplinary proceedings once it has issued a final decision on the matter.
“FIFA reiterates its unwavering commitment to respecting the integrity of all individuals and strongly condemns any behaviour to the contrary.”
UEFA have not yet replied to an ESPN request seeking comment.
The pressure is growing on Rubiales, who has also been condemned for grabbing his crotch, the manner in which he hugged and kissed other players on their cheeks and throwing Athenea del Castillo over his shoulder.
Rubiales, 46, initially said those criticising his behaviour were “idiots” but later posted a video apologising, although Spain’s Acting Prime Minster Pedro Sánchez said his sorry was “insufficient and inadequate.”
Other government ministers have called for him to resign, while the Spanish Players’ Association [AFE], the equivalent for female players (FUTPRO), Liga F and FIFPRO are among other institutions to denounce his actions.
Hermoso, who plays in Liga MX for Pachuca, released a statement Wednesday saying FUTPRO and her agency, TMJ, would be handling the issue for her.
FUTPRO went on to call the incidents involving Rubiales “acts that should never go unpunished” and said it would work to “sanction and adopt measures to protect the players against actions we believe are unacceptable.”
The RFEF will hold a meeting Friday to deal with the fallout, with Rubiales’ position under increasing threat.