Spanish Football Chief Rubiales Suspended by FIFA in Wake of Scandalous Hermoso Kiss
In a significant move that reverberates through the corridors of international football, FIFA has announced the suspension of Luis Rubiales, the president of Spain’s football federation (RFEF). The decision comes in the wake of an incident involving Rubiales and Spanish Women’s World Cup player Jenni Hermoso. FIFA’s statement, issued on Saturday, declared a provisional suspension of Rubiales from all football-related activities at both national and international levels, lasting for a period of 90 days. The suspension coincides with the initiation of disciplinary proceedings against the 46-year-old.At the center of the controversy is a reported kiss between Rubiales and Hermoso, a player who has achieved prominence on the global stage. While Rubiales referred to the kiss as “mutual, euphoric, and consensual,” Hermoso vehemently denies any consent or willingness to engage in such an act. Her statement, released via her representative organization Futpro, claims that she felt “vulnerable and the victim of an assault.” This divergence in perspectives has ignited a fierce dispute that threatens to tarnish the reputation of the RFEF and mar the recent triumph of the Spanish Women’s World Cup team.The tension escalated as the RFEF, under Rubiales’ leadership, attempted to address the situation through a video apology featuring both Rubiales and Hermoso. The latter, however, declined to participate, citing alleged pressure exerted on her and her associates by the federation. This clash of accounts led to an impasse, with Rubiales refusing to step down and the RFEF accusing Hermoso of spreading “lies.”In a display of solidarity, 81 players from the Spanish national team, including Hermoso and other key figures such as Aitana Bonmati and Alexia Putellas, have declared a strike. This coordinated effort aims to usher in a change in leadership that aligns more closely with the players’ concerns. The players’ union Futpro highlighted the need for transformation within the Spanish football establishment, asserting that their stand is a collective effort to combat issues of abuse and sexism that have marred the sport.The international football community has been closely monitoring this development, with prominent figures from different teams expressing support for Hermoso and her teammates. The England Lionesses, who were runners-up in the World Cup, released a statement condemning the incident and labeling the organization’s actions as “unacceptable.” They emphasized that “abuse is abuse,” underscoring the severity of the situation.As the dispute unfolds, the RFEF appears to tread carefully, acknowledging players’ autonomy while also emphasizing the duty of national team participation for those who are called upon. With the controversy casting a shadow over Spanish football, all eyes remain fixed on the unfolding drama and the potential ramifications for the sport’s governance.