Spain Initiates Legal Proceedings Against Football President Over Controversial World Cup Behavior; Luis Rubiales Ends His Silence

by Lucas Garcia
Luis Rubiales legal case

The Spanish government has initiated a formal legal process against Luis Rubiales, the temporarily suspended head of the Spanish Football Federation, who broke his silence last Friday, contending that he is the target of a character assassination campaign.

Rubiales has been at the epicenter of severe critique and calls for his resignation due to his actions during and subsequent to Spain’s Women’s World Cup victory in Sydney. Rubiales kissed player Jenni Hermoso without her consent and made an obscene celebratory gesture, which was globally televised, earning him national disgrace.

The government’s legal committee on sports matters has opened a formal case against Rubiales, who is also a vice president of UEFA. The panel aims to determine whether Rubiales abused his position by kissing Hermoso and tarnished Spain’s image and reputation on the global sports stage, as claimed by the government. Rubiales could face a two-year ban from office.


A file photo from August 22, 2023, shows Luis Rubiales with Spain’s Women’s World Cup team at La Moncloa Palace in Madrid after being greeted by Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez. Rubiales’ behavior has ignited debates on gender equality and appears set to become a landmark moment in both the history of Spanish football and women’s rights.

Governmental and Public Reaction

Miquel Iceta, Spain’s acting minister of culture and sport, stated, “At a moment when the international community was focused on our athletes, his conduct inflicted irreparable harm to both our sport and nation.”

In his first public declaration since his refusal to step down a week prior, Rubiales asserted he was subjected to a “witch hunt” perpetrated by “false feminists.” On Friday, Rubiales admitted to “obvious mistakes” for which he was “deeply remorseful.” He claimed the kiss with Hermoso was “mutual and consensual,” a claim firmly refuted by the player.

Rubiales also stated that he has cooperated with both FIFA’s and the federation’s internal investigations, asserting that he has been subjected to an “unprecedented media and political vilification,” both within Spain and internationally.

The panel’s characterization of Rubiales’ acts as “serious” as opposed to “very serious” has thwarted the government’s plans for immediate suspension. The government will request the panel to consider provisional suspension, while FIFA’s 90-day suspension continues.

Fallout and Repercussions

Support for Rubiales has dwindled, even among his initial backers. Spain men’s coach Luis de la Fuente apologized for having previously applauded Rubiales’ anti-feminist remarks.

Last week, Hermoso identified herself as a victim of abuse of power and accused the federation of attempting to coerce her into supporting Rubiales. In response, the federation has since advised Rubiales to resign, suspended his salary, and commanded the return of his federation-provided car, laptop, and mobile phone.

Internationally and within Spain, support for Hermoso has been overwhelming. Alejandro Blanco, president of the Spanish Olympic Committee, urged Rubiales to apologize and consider resignation. Earlier in the week, the United Nations Human Rights office also expressed its support for Hermoso and the fight against abuse and sexism in sports.

The legal panel has not set a time frame for concluding its investigation into the case.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Luis Rubiales legal case

What is the legal case against Luis Rubiales about?

The Spanish government has initiated formal legal proceedings against Luis Rubiales, the temporarily suspended president of the Spanish Football Federation, for his behavior during and after Spain’s recent Women’s World Cup triumph. Rubiales is accused of kissing player Jenni Hermoso without her consent and making an obscene gesture, both of which were globally televised.

Who is leading the investigation against Rubiales?

A Spanish government legal committee responsible for sports issues is leading the investigation. The panel will determine if Rubiales abused his position by his actions, and whether he tarnished Spain’s international image and reputation in sports.

What are the possible repercussions for Rubiales?

If found guilty, Rubiales could face a two-year ban from holding office in sports organizations. The panel’s findings will also likely influence public opinion and could result in additional sanctions or repercussions.

What was Rubiales’ response to the allegations?

Rubiales broke his week-long silence by asserting that he is the target of a character assassination campaign. He admitted to making “obvious mistakes” but contended that the kiss with Hermoso was “mutual and consensual,” a claim that Hermoso firmly refutes.

Has FIFA taken any actions against Rubiales?

Yes, FIFA has already provisionally suspended Rubiales for 90 days while it carries out its own disciplinary investigation. This suspension will continue irrespective of the Spanish government’s legal process.

How has the public reacted to this case?

The case has ignited debates on gender equality and abuse of power both within Spain and internationally. Support for Hermoso has been overwhelming, while support for Rubiales has dwindled significantly, even among his initial backers.

What is the timeframe for the legal panel to make a decision?

The legal panel has not set a specific time limit for concluding its investigation into the case.

More about Luis Rubiales legal case

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SoccerFanatic September 1, 2023 - 10:50 pm

Seriously, what was he thinking? In this day and age, you cant just go around acting like that, especially as the head of a federation. He’s lost all credibility.

UEFASupporter September 1, 2023 - 11:21 pm

Wow, he’s not only the head of Spanish federation but also a VP of UEFA. This is gonna have repercussions beyond just Spain. he’s done if its proven.

TrueSoccerFan September 2, 2023 - 12:13 am

This whole incident is overshadowing the women’s team’s achievement. They won the World Cup, but now all everyone talks about is this mess. it’s unfair to the players.

JohnDoe123 September 2, 2023 - 1:32 am

Wow, can’t believe Rubiales would do something like this. Its a disgrace to the sport and the country. He should just step down, no excuses.

LegalEagle September 2, 2023 - 4:28 am

Interested to see how the legal panel’s decision impacts FIFA’s own investigation. Laws and sanctions can be really different from one organization to the other.

ImpartialView September 2, 2023 - 7:43 am

Lets not jump to conclusions. There’s a legal process that’s gonna play out. But if he’s guilty, then yeah, he should face the consequences.

LaLigaLover September 2, 2023 - 3:24 pm

So much drama, but I’m glad its finally coming out. People like him shouldnt hold positions of power.

Feminist4Life September 2, 2023 - 6:26 pm

This incident highlights why we need gender sensitivity training in all organizations. Abuse of power comes in many forms, and this is just unacceptable!

GlobalCitizen September 2, 2023 - 6:46 pm

This is more than just a Spain issue, its a global issue. Gender equality needs to be a focus everywhere, especially in sports where its often ignored.


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