FIFA has suspended Luis Rubiales, the president of the Spanish Football Federation, from “all football-related activities” over his kiss with Women’s World Cup winner Jenny Hermoso.
Rubiales refused to step down over the incident, in which he kissed Hermoso on the lips last Sunday after Spain won the tournament for the first time, despite heavy criticism from Hermoso, her teammates and the Spanish government.
Hermoso said the kiss was unwanted, and that she and the entire World Cup-winning team refused to play while Rubiales remained club president.
Rubiales said the kiss was consensual and the union stood by it, threatening legal action against Hermoso and others.
FIFA said Rubiales was initially suspended for 90 days and banned Rubiales and the Spanish Football Federation from contacting Hermoso, who described denying requests to issue a statement to “relieve pressure” on Rubiales.
FIFA said more information would be provided when the disciplinary proceedings, which began on Thursday, conclude.
The temporary suspension comes after the scandal escalated on Saturday when the Spanish Football Federation threatened legal action against Hermoso, accusing the player of lying about Rubiales kissing him.
On Friday, Hermos responded to Rubiales’ defiant speech, during which he described the kiss as “mutual,” with a statement saying that at no point did she consent to the kiss.
“I felt emasculated and victimized by an act motivated by sexism and out of place without any consent on my part,” Hermoso wrote on social media.
The dispute overshadowed Spain’s historic win in Sydney, Australia, and dominated headlines all week.
After Spain beat England in the final, Rubiales was filmed kissing Hermoso on the lips after she collected a winners’ medal, an act which the 33-year-old said later that day she “didn’t like” and “didn’t like”. Expect.”
Rubiales, who said on Monday he had “made a mistake”, has since come under fire, with Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez calling the apology an “unacceptable gesture” and “not enough”.
But Rubiales spoke on Friday at the federation’s extraordinary general assembly and emphatically stated that he would not resign. During his address to the council for about 30 minutes, he described the kiss as “mutual,” and talked about “unjust” and “fake feminist” campaigns, which sparked more criticism.
In response to Rubiales’ letter, Hermoso said the Spanish federation president’s explanation of the incident was “categorically” false, adding: “I want to repeat, as I did before, that I did not like this incident.”
CNN has reached out to the Spanish Football Federation, Hermoso and UEFA for comment, but did not immediately receive a response.
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