Former Spanish Football Association president Luis Rubiales has been banned from all soccer-related activities for three years. Photo by Juan Carlos Hidalgo/EPA-EFE
Oct. 30 (UPI) -- FIFA issued a 3-year ban from all soccer-related activities to former Spanish Football Association president Luis Rubiales for his kiss of Jenni Hermoso at the 2023 World Cup, the sport's governing body announced Monday.
FIFA's disciplinary committee said Rubiales acted in breach of article 13 of its disciplinary code, offensive behavior and violations of the principles of fair play. Rubiales can appeal the decision.
"Mr. Rubiales has been notified of the terms of the FIFA disciplinary committee's decision today," FIFA said in a news release.
"In accordance with the relevant provisions of the FIFA disciplinary code, he has 10 days in which to request a motivated decision, which, if requested, would subsequently be published on legal.fifa.com."
Rubiales kissed Hermoso, who maintains the action was not consensual, on the stage during the trophy presentation for Spain's 1-0 win over England in the World Cup final Aug. 20 in Sydney. He was caught on camera as he pulled her head forward with both hands and kissed her on the lips.
FIFA opened disciplinary proceedings against Rubiales days later and went on to issue an initial three-month suspension Aug. 26. Rubiales, who maintains his innocence, refused to resign and accused Hermoso of lying, stepped down Sept. 10.
Five days later, a judge in Spain approved a restraining order that bars Rubiales from being within 600 feet of Hermoso and from contacting her during an investigation linked to a sexual assault complaint a prosecutor filed against the former Spanish soccer boss.
Hermoso, her teammates and Spanish Football Association officials have testified as part of that investigation.
"FIFA reiterates its absolute commitment to respecting and protecting the integrity of all people and ensuring that the basic rules of decent conduct are upheld," FIFA said.