News & Current Affairs

Luis Rubiales To Face FIFA Disciplinary Hearing For Misconduct At The Women's World Cup Final

By Azeezat Okunlola | Aug 24, 2023
On Thursday, FIFA initiated disciplinary proceedings against Spanish soccer president Luis Rubiales, Spanish Soccer President, for his actions during the Women's World Cup final.
The soccer body’s disciplinary committee will consider if Rubiales broke “the basic rules of decent conduct” and “behaving in a way that brings the sport of football and/or FIFA into disrepute.”
Rubiales kissed Spain player Jennifer Hermoso on the lips at the trophy and medal ceremony on Sunday after the country’s 1-0 triumph over England in Sydney, Australia.
Minutes earlier, Rubiales clutched his crotch as a triumph gesture in the exclusive area of seats with Queen Letizia of Spain and 16-year-old Princess Sofia standing nearby.
Hermoso had initially revealed she did not like the kiss, but later released a fresh statement saying it was a friendly gesture and there was no need for the public to over analyse it.
However, the national players’ union representing her – which Rubiales once commanded – appealed on Wednesday for his behaviour to not go unpunished.
FIFA responded on Thursday with a statement:
“FIFA reiterates its unwavering commitment to respecting the integrity of all individuals and strongly condemns any behaviour to the contrary,” the soccer authority said.
There was no estimated ruling time given by FIFA. The body's disciplinary judges have the authority to hand down whatever punishment they see fit, from verbal reprimands and financial penalties to outright bans from competitions.
The FIFA disciplinary committee is headed by Colombian attorney Jorge Palacio, who formerly served as a judge on the labour court and on the constitutional court of his home country.
The case will likely be decided by a panel of three of the sixteen members. Three of the 16 are women, from England, Mexico and Thailand.
Rubiales is a UEFA vice president and was the European soccer body’s most senior delegate at the biggest game in women’s soccer.
The Spanish soccer federation, which the 46-year-old Rubiales has managed for five years, is expected to convene an emergency meeting Friday in Madrid where the agenda includes questions on the subject.
It's not clear whether the meeting is an attempt to rally support for Rubiales or a reaction to the overwhelming calls for his resignation from the Spanish government and soccer officials.
Rubiales is presently leading Europe's bid to host the men's World Cup in 2030. He previously ran the Spanish players' union for eight years before becoming federation president in 2018.
Along with Portugal and Morocco, Spain is also considering an offer from Ukraine.