World football’s governing body, FIFA, is investigating Spanish FA boss Luis Rubiales after he ‘kissed and groped’ Jenni Hermoso following the country’s win over England in the Women’s World Cup final.
Rubiales – who has served as president of the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) since May 2018, was widely scrutinised after touching World Cup star Hermoso inappropriately during Sunday’s medal ceremony in Sydney. The 46-year-old was seen greeting the forward onto the stage before embracing her, then grabbing the back of her head and kissing her on the lips.
Hermoso, 33, later said she ‘wasn’t expecting’ the kiss from her superior and ‘didn’t like it’. Following a short-lived defence of his actions and retaliation against his critics, Rubiales apologised and admitted he was “completely wrong” for his actions, though acting Spanish prime minister Pedro Sanchez remarked the apology is ‘not enough’.
“The FIFA Disciplinary Committee informed Luis Rubiales, President of the Spanish Football Association, today that it is opening disciplinary proceedings against him based on the events that occurred during the final of the FIFA Women’s World Cup’ on 20 August 2023,” read an official statement.
“The events may constitute violations of article 13 paragraphs 1 and 2 of the FIFA Disciplinary Code. The FIFA Disciplinary Committee will only provide further information on these disciplinary proceedings once it has issued a final decision on the matter.
“FIFA reiterates its unwavering commitment to respecting the integrity of all individuals and strongly condemns any behaviour to the contrary.”
The debacle unfortunately overshadowed what should have been a purely positive moment for La Roja and Spanish football as a whole. Olga Carmona’s solitary strike gave Jorge Vilda’s women their maiden global title in the country’s first Women’s World Cup final appearance.