Rubiales loses Fifa appeal against three-year ban

Rubiales loses Fifa appeal against three-year ban
Luis Rubiales arrives at court

Ex-Spanish football federation president Luis Rubiales has lost his appeal against a three-year ban from football-related activities by Fifa.

Rubiales stepped down from his role in September after kissing Jenni Hermoso on the lips after Spain’s Women’s World Cup final win against England.

Hermoso, who later filed a legal complaint against Rubiales, said the kiss was not consensual.

The decision could be challenged before the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

“Amongst other considerations, the appeal committee was comfortably satisfied that Mr Rubiales behaved in a manner contrary to the principles enshrined under article 13 of the Fifa disciplinary code during and after the final of the Fifa Women’s World Cup,” a statement from world football’s governing body read.

Article 13 of the Fifa disciplinary code relates to offensive behaviour and violations of the principles of fair play.

On Thursday, a Spanish judge proposed that Rubiales should stand trial over the incident, describing the kiss as “not consensual and… a unilateral and surprising initiative”.

Prosecutors previously charged Mr Rubiales with sexual assault and coercion.

Rubiales has always maintained the kiss was a “consensual peck”, but in the wake of the incident, he was forced to resign as president of the Spanish football federation (RFEF).

It set off a wave of global anger at sexism at the highest levels of women’s sport.

World Cup-winning manager Jorge Vilda was sacked in September and is being investigated as part of the criminal case against Rubiales.

Hermoso, who said her image had been tarnished by the kiss, returned to the national side in October and scored an 89th-minute winner against Italy.

Source: bbc.co.uk

By David Ryckman