Legal Committee in Spain Initiates Proceedings Against Suspended Football Executive Over Unconsented World Cup Kiss

by Lucas Garcia
Luis Rubiales legal case

A legal committee under the auspices of the Spanish government has initiated proceedings against the suspended head of soccer, Luis Rubiales, for kissing a player on the lips without her consent following Spain’s victory in the Women’s World Cup.

Miquel Iceta, the acting Minister of Culture and Sport, along with the committee, made the announcement this past Friday. Rubiales has attracted extensive criticism and demands for his resignation due to his conduct both during and subsequent to the recent World Cup final held in Sydney.

Although FIFA has already imposed a 90-day suspension on Rubiales while it reviews the matter, Spain aims to take separate action. Rubiales serves as the President of the Spanish Football Federation and is also a Vice President of UEFA.

Iceta noted that while the government lacks the direct authority to suspend Rubiales, it intends to request the legal committee to contemplate provisional suspension. “We continue to maintain that his actions should be classified as extremely grave misconduct,” Iceta stated.

Rubiales’ actions have caused “irreparable damage to both our sport and national reputation at a time when the global spotlight was on our athletes,” added Iceta.

The legal committee indicated that it would examine Rubiales’ actions under two potential cases of severe misconduct. The government aspires for the committee to categorize his actions as extremely grave misconduct, a classification that would permit the national sports body to provisionally ban him with the aim of ultimately deeming him unfit for his role. If found culpable of grave misconduct, Rubiales could face disqualification for a period of up to two years.

The committee’s decision adds further pressure on Rubiales, who was suspended by FIFA the previous Saturday. Following his suspension, Rubiales made a contentious speech, arguing that the kiss was consensual and that he was the subject of a witch hunt. Despite refusing to resign, he received applause from the majority of the Spanish federation members who were present at the public meeting.

Among those who applauded was Spain’s men’s coach Luis de la Fuente, who subsequently expressed regret on Friday, stating, “I committed a human error. It was inexcusable.”

The player at the center of the controversy, Jenni Hermoso, rebuffed Rubiales’ claim of consensual action. Last Saturday, Hermoso issued a statement declaring herself a victim of abuse of power and accusing the federation of attempting to coerce her into backing Rubiales. Initially, the federation retorted by alleging that she was deceitful and threatened legal action against her. However, following the FIFA suspension, the federation recommended Rubiales’ resignation on Monday.

Since last Friday, Rubiales has been largely silent and has found himself virtually devoid of backers. His mother briefly undertook a hunger strike in a church in southern Spain, demanding justice for her son and urging Hermoso to revise her stance.

In contrast, overwhelming support for Hermoso has been forthcoming from national and international officials, athletes, and celebrities. Alejandro Blanco, the president of the Spanish Olympic Committee, advised Rubiales to apologize, clarify his actions, and potentially consider stepping down. Moreover, Aitana Bonmatí, Spain’s women’s soccer star, voiced her support for Hermoso during her acceptance speech for the player of the year at the UEFA awards ceremony.

Earlier this week, the United Nations Human Rights office expressed solidarity with Hermoso via social media, stating, “We join Spain’s Jenni Hermoso and all those working to end abuse and sexism in sport. Make this a turning point.”

The legal committee has not specified a deadline for rendering a decision in the case.

Source: AP Soccer: https://bigbignews.net/soccer

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Luis Rubiales Suspension

What are the charges against Luis Rubiales?

Luis Rubiales, the suspended president of the Spanish Football Federation, is facing legal proceedings for kissing a player without her consent during the celebrations of Spain’s Women’s World Cup victory.

Who initiated the legal proceedings against Rubiales?

The legal proceedings against Luis Rubiales have been initiated by a legal committee under the auspices of the Spanish government. The announcement was made by Miquel Iceta, the acting Minister of Culture and Sport.

Is FIFA also investigating the case?

Yes, FIFA has already imposed a 90-day suspension on Luis Rubiales while it conducts its own investigation into the matter.

What could be the possible consequences for Rubiales?

If found guilty of grave misconduct, Rubiales could face disqualification for a period of up to two years. The government’s legal committee is also considering recommending very serious misconduct, a category that could result in a provisional ban.

What is the stance of the player involved, Jenni Hermoso?

Jenni Hermoso has denied that the kiss was consensual and has issued a statement in which she considers herself a victim of abuse of power. She has also accused the Spanish Football Federation of trying to coerce her into supporting Rubiales.

Has Rubiales responded to the allegations?

Rubiales has claimed that the kiss was consensual and considers himself a victim of a witch hunt. He has refused to resign from his position and has not been heard from since the FIFA-imposed suspension.

What has been the public response?

Public support overwhelmingly sides with Jenni Hermoso. Various officials, athletes, and celebrities have expressed their solidarity with her. Even the United Nations Human Rights office has voiced support for Hermoso, calling for an end to abuse and sexism in sports.

Is there a time limit for the legal panel to make a decision?

No, there is no specified time limit for the legal panel to arrive at a decision regarding the case.

More about Luis Rubiales Suspension

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AnneP September 1, 2023 - 8:35 pm

Good on Jenni for speaking out! Takes courage to stand up against such powerful figures.

SoccerFan101 September 1, 2023 - 10:44 pm

shocking! No room for such behavior in sports or anywhere for that matter.

Mike_HistoryBuff September 1, 2023 - 11:12 pm

This will be a defining moment in sports and legal history. Mark my words.

TrueFan September 2, 2023 - 2:41 am

Disgusted but not surprised. Sports organizations need to clean house.

CarlosV September 2, 2023 - 4:43 am

Ugh, this is so embarassing for our country. We win the Women’s World Cup and then this happens? terrible.

CryptoGuru September 2, 2023 - 6:37 am

What’s wrong with people these days. Abuse of power much?

Ella_Sports September 2, 2023 - 8:56 am

Even FIFA suspended him? That says a lot. Poor Jenni Hermoso, she shouldn’t have to go through this.

JohnDoe September 2, 2023 - 11:00 am

Wow, just wow. This is a huge deal, Rubiales really messed up. Can’t believe he thought he’d get away with it.

EconomistPaul September 2, 2023 - 2:41 pm

If he’s found guilty, this could have major financial repercussions for Spanish soccer. Investors, take note.

Lisa_M September 2, 2023 - 4:39 pm

So glad to see the legal system stepping in. it’s about time we take this kinda stuff seriously.


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