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FIFA Temporarily Removes Spanish Soccer Federation Chief Luis Rubiales Over Incident Following Women’s World Cup Final

by Lucas Garcia
6 comments
FIFA suspension of Luis Rubiales

FIFA announced the provisional suspension of Luis Rubiales, President of the Spanish Football Federation, on Saturday for a period of 90 days. The disciplinary committee of the organization is currently examining his actions during the Women’s World Cup final, which involved non-consensual kissing of a player.

The disciplinary proceedings against Rubiales were formally initiated on Thursday, resulting in a 90-day hiatus from all soccer-related activities. Despite facing considerable pressure from the Spanish government, female athletes, soccer clubs, and other officials to step down, Rubiales opted not to resign from his role during an emergency convening of the Spanish Football Federation’s general assembly on Friday.

While FIFA has not provided a specific timeline for the disciplinary panel’s final judgment, it has the authority to administer a range of punitive measures, from warnings and monetary penalties to potential expulsion from the sport.

Prior to FIFA’s intervention, the Spanish Federation had even considered taking punitive measures against renowned player Jennifer Hermoso for not corroborating Rubiales’s account of the incident, which occurred during the award ceremony following Spain’s 1-0 victory over England in Sydney, Australia last Sunday.

Rubiales’ suspension should effectively restrict him from engaging in soccer activities and from interacting with other soccer officials. Jorge Palacio, a FIFA disciplinary judge, also took steps on Saturday to ensure the “fundamental rights” of Hermoso and to preserve the integrity of the ongoing disciplinary investigation.

In an official statement, Palacio directed Rubiales and any associated third parties to abstain from communicating or attempting to communicate with Jennifer Hermoso or her immediate circle. The directive also applies to the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) and its staff, who are likewise prohibited from contacting Hermoso or her associates.

Jorge Palacio is a Colombian attorney and a former constitutional court member who has been involved in advocacy for women’s rights.

In addition to his role as President of the Spanish Football Federation, Rubiales is also a vice president of UEFA, occupying the third highest elected position within Europe’s primary football governing body. He draws an annual salary of 250,000 euros (approximately $270,000) in addition to expenses.

Rubiales was elected to UEFA’s executive committee in 2019 and was promptly promoted to the position of vice president by UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin. Neither UEFA nor Čeferin have issued public comments regarding the ongoing controversy surrounding Rubiales. This marks the second time FIFA has taken action in this case.

Reported by Wilson from Barcelona, Spain.

For more on soccer: AP Soccer
For Women’s World Cup coverage: AP FIFA Women’s World Cup

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about FIFA suspension of Luis Rubiales

What led to the suspension of Luis Rubiales, the President of the Spanish Football Federation, by FIFA?

Luis Rubiales was provisionally suspended by FIFA for 90 days pending an investigation into his conduct at the Women’s World Cup final. The investigation focuses on an incident in which Rubiales kissed a player without her consent during the medal and trophy presentation ceremony.

What actions are being taken during Rubiales’s suspension?

During the 90-day suspension, Luis Rubiales is restricted from engaging in any soccer-related activities and from having any contact with other soccer officials. FIFA’s disciplinary committee is actively investigating the case, and FIFA disciplinary judge Jorge Palacio has issued directives to protect the “fundamental rights” of the player involved, Jennifer Hermoso.

Has Luis Rubiales resigned from his position?

No, Luis Rubiales has not resigned from his position as the President of the Spanish Football Federation. Despite facing considerable pressure from various stakeholders including the Spanish government and women soccer players, Rubiales chose not to resign during an emergency meeting of the federation’s general assembly.

What range of sanctions could FIFA impose on Luis Rubiales?

FIFA has the authority to administer a variety of punitive measures, ranging from warnings and monetary penalties to potential expulsion from the sport, depending on the outcomes of the disciplinary proceedings.

What was the Spanish Football Federation’s stance before FIFA’s intervention?

Prior to FIFA’s decision to suspend Rubiales, the Spanish Football Federation had considered taking punitive measures against Jennifer Hermoso, the player involved in the incident, for not corroborating Rubiales’s version of events.

What is the role of FIFA disciplinary judge Jorge Palacio in this case?

Jorge Palacio is overseeing the integrity of the disciplinary case and has issued directives that prohibit Rubiales and any associated third parties from contacting Jennifer Hermoso or her immediate circle. Palacio is a Colombian lawyer with experience in women’s rights advocacy.

Have UEFA or its President Aleksander Čeferin commented on the matter?

As of the information available, neither UEFA nor its President Aleksander Čeferin have made any public statements regarding the controversy surrounding Luis Rubiales.

What other roles does Luis Rubiales hold in soccer governance?

Luis Rubiales is also a vice president of UEFA, the Union of European Football Associations, occupying the third-highest elected position within the organization. He receives an annual salary of 250,000 euros (approximately $270,000) in addition to expenses.

How many times has FIFA intervened in this case?

This marks the second time FIFA has taken action in this particular case involving Luis Rubiales and his conduct at the Women’s World Cup final.

More about FIFA suspension of Luis Rubiales

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6 comments

SoccerFan99 August 26, 2023 - 7:01 pm

i cant believe Rubiales thought he could get away with this. Great that FIFA is stepping in but what took them so long?

Reply
SarahTalks August 26, 2023 - 8:29 pm

What about Jennifer Hermoso? Hope shes getting the support she needs thru all of this. All eyes on the disciplinary panel now.

Reply
JakeSmith44 August 27, 2023 - 7:50 am

Wow, didn’t see this coming. Rubiales is in hot water now, huh? Guess you cant just do whatever you want just because you’re in a high position.

Reply
EmilyPowers August 27, 2023 - 8:56 am

This is so important. Shows nobody’s above the law or basic decency. I’m keen to see how UEFA responds, they cant just stay quiet on this.

Reply
LegalEagle August 27, 2023 - 10:01 am

Intriguing that Jorge Palacio is overseeing this. He’s got a strong background in women’s rights. could be a game changer for the investigation.

Reply
CarlosTheAnalyst August 27, 2023 - 1:33 pm

Serious issues at hand. Kudos to FIFA for taking disciplinary actions but theres a long way to go. The sport’s reputation is on the line.

Reply

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