World football organizing body, FIFA has officially confirmed that Luis Rubiales will face a three-year ban from the sport.
Naija News reports that the decision comes as a punishment for the former Spanish football chief after forcing himself to kiss Spain footballer, Jenni Hermoso during the last World Cup.
Though Rubiales had filed an appeal, FIFA rejected his appeal, solidifying the consequences of his actions.
“The Appeal Committee was comfortably satisfied that Mr Rubiales behaved in a manner contrary to the principles enshrined under … the FIFA disciplinary code,” said FIFA in a statement issued on Friday (today).
Rubiales had attracted a series of criticisms over the kissing scene with Hermoso on the lips against her will after the Women’s World Cup final in Sydney in August, for which he is set to face trial in Spain.
Rubiales has denied allegations that the kiss was non-consensual and is considering the possibility of appealing his global ban from all “football-related activities” imposed by FIFA. He may take his case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
Initially, FIFA temporarily suspended Rubiales and later imposed a three-year ban on him in October. However, he decided to challenge this decision and filed an appeal.
Spain emerged victorious in the Women’s World Cup, securing their first-ever title. Unfortunately, Rubiales’ actions and the subsequent fallout marred their triumph.
Despite mounting international pressure, the 46-year-old refused to step down from his position for three weeks.
This led to players from various teams protesting against the Spanish Football Federation until significant changes were implemented.
Coach Jorge Vilda has been relieved of his duties by the federation, along with three other individuals who are also facing coercion charges for allegedly pressuring Hermoso to claim that the kiss was consensual, Naija News understands.
On Thursday, Judge Francisco de Jorge of Spain’s Audiencia Nacional top criminal court suggested that Rubiales should stand trial for charges of sexual assault and coercion.
Judge Francisco de Jorge determined that the kiss was “neither consensual nor anticipated” and was an act initiated solely by Rubiales.
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