BY Jonathan Ledger
FIFA says it has opened disciplinary proceedings against Luis Rubiales, president of the Spanish Football Federation, for kissing a female player.
Rubiales was spotted in viral footage kissing Jenni Hermoso — following Spain’s victory over England at this year’s Women’s World Cup (WWC) final on Sunday.
The Spanish FA chief attracted heavy criticism after he kissed the player on the lips during the trophy celebration.
He also grabbed his crotch while standing a few metres away from Spain’s Queen Letizia and Sofia, her 16-year-old daughter.
In a statement, the world football’s governing body said Rubiales’ actions could be a violation of its code of conduct.
“The FIFA Disciplinary Committee informed Luis Rubiales, President of the Spanish Football Association, today that it is opening disciplinary proceedings against him based on the events that occurred during the final of the FIFA Women’s World Cup™ on 20 August 2023,” the statement reads.
“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 also “reiterates its unwavering commitment to respecting the integrity of all individuals and strongly condemns any behaviour to the contrary”.
In the wake of the widespread backlash, Rubiales apologised for the kiss.
His apology, however, fell on deaf ears as Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez and Yolanda Diaz, the second deputy prime minister, joined those calling for him to resign.
FUTPRO, an association representing female footballers in Spain also urged “exemplary measures” to be taken, while the Spanish Football Federation also called for an emergency session on Friday.
The country’s female football has been enmeshed in a wave of scandals in recent times.
Fifteen players had recently demanded the sacking of coach Jorge Vilda.
Vida was also caught on camera appearing to grab a female coach’s breast during celebrations after the World Cup win.
Photo credit: Noe Llamas/SPP/Shutterstock