World football’s governing body FIFA has banned the former Spanish football federation president Luis Rubiales from the sport for three years, following his misconduct at the Women’s World Cup Final where he forcibly kissed the player Jenni Hermoso on the lips at the trophy ceremony.
FIFA did not publish full details of the verdict reached by its disciplinary committee judges, who had investigated charges relating to ‘basic rules of decent conduct’ and ‘behaving in a way that brings the sport of football and/or FIFA into disrepute’. However, FIFA issued a short statement online about its decision to ban Rubiales, accompanied by a PDF of its disciplinary code, available for download.
Rubiales also is under criminal investigation in Spain for kissing Hermoso after the Spanish team’s 1-0 victory over England on 20 August in Sydney, Australia. He denied wrongdoing to a judge in Madrid who imposed a restraining order for Rubiales not to contact Hermoso. ALSO READ: Rubiales denies any wrongdoing, but is banned from going within 200 metres of Hermoso.
At the final whistle in Sydney, Rubiales had grabbed his crotch as a victory gesture in the exclusive section of seats with Queen Letizia of Spain and 16-year-old Princess Sofía standing nearby.
Rubiales was removed from office by FIFA judges during their investigation, and they also cited a third incident – ‘carrying the Spanish player Athenea del Castillo over his shoulder during the post-match celebration’ – in a ruling to explain why he was provisionally suspended.
The risk of witness tampering by Rubiales and his allies also was cited to justify the interim ban that is now confirmed to extend beyond the next men’s World Cup in 2026 being hosted by the United States, Canada and Mexico.
Rubiales resigned from his jobs in football in September after three weeks of defiance that increased pressure on him from the Spanish government and national-team players. ALSO READ: Spanish Football Federation confirms resignation of Luis Rubiales.
‘After my swift suspension by FIFA, and the rest of the cases building against me, it is clear that I cannot return to the post,’ Rubiales said on 10 Sepember when finally giving up the federation presidency he had held since 2018.
Rubiales also had to give up his vice presidency of European football body UEFA which paid him €250,000 each year. UEFA later thanked Rubiales for his service in a statement.
Rubiales can request details of the FIFA disciplinary verdict within 10 days and then file an appeal, football’s world body said. He could file a further appeal at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.