In a shocking turn of events, FIFA, the governing body of international football, has imposed a significant three-year ban on former Spanish football chief, Luis Rubiales. The ban comes in the aftermath of an unsolicited forced kiss incident involving Rubiales and World Cup winner Jenni Hermoso during the Women’s World Cup medal ceremony in Sydney. The incident, which took place on August 20, sent shockwaves throughout the football community, leading to Rubiales’ provisional suspension for 90 days.
FIFA’s decision to ban Rubiales for three years stems from his violation of the organization’s code of conduct. Despite Rubiales’ claims that the kiss was consensual, Hermoso described it as an impulsive, macho act, leaving her feeling vulnerable and like the victim of an assault. Rubiales, who resigned as the head of the Spanish football federation in September, has vowed to appeal the ban, indicating his intention to take the case to the highest court for justice.
This controversy has not only resulted in severe consequences for Rubiales but has also sparked widespread discussions and actions in Spain. The incident prompted a reevaluation of the management of the women’s team, leading to the dismissal of the World Cup-winning team’s coach, Jorge Vilda. The players of Spain’s national women’s team, dissatisfied with the federation’s slow response, even threatened to strike, highlighting the urgency for change.
Hermoso, despite the challenges she faced, made a triumphant return to the national team, scoring the winning goal in a recent Nations League victory against Italy. Her resilience in the face of adversity serves as an inspiration, reminding us of the importance of standing up against misconduct and fighting for justice in the world of sports.
As FIFA continues to uphold the integrity of all individuals involved in football, this incident serves as a stark reminder that the basic rules of decent conduct must always be upheld, ensuring a safe and respectful environment for everyone in the sport.