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FIFA Suspends Luis Rubiales For 90 Days Over The Kissing Incident At World Cup Final

FIFA said Rubiales is removed from football duties for 90 days “pending the disciplinary proceedings opened” against him Thursday.

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Luis Rubiales seen here kissing Hermoso during the Women's WC trophy presentation.
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FIFA suspended Spanish football federation president Luis Rubiales from office on Saturday while its disciplinary committee investigates his conduct at the Women's World Cup final, which included kissing a player on the lips without her consent.

The ruling comes six days after Rubiales was accused of becoming a national embarrassment in front of a global audience at the final in Sydney, Australia — overshadowing the enormous accomplishment of Spain women's first World Cup title.

Along with kissing star player Jenni Hermoso — who said she did not give her consent — Rubiales also grabbed his crotch in a lewd victory gesture with Spain's Queen Letizia and her 16-year-old daughter Sofia nearby.

FIFA said Rubiales is removed from football duties for 90 days “pending the disciplinary proceedings opened” against him Thursday.
    
Rubiales refused to resign from his football presidency on Friday at an emergency meeting of the Spanish football federation's general assembly when he had been expected to leave under intense pressure from the Spanish government, women players plus football clubs and officials.
    
FIFA has given no timetable for a ruling by its disciplinary panel. The body's disciplinary judges can impose sanctions on individuals ranging from warnings and fines to suspensions from the sport.
    
The move by FIFA came after the Spanish federation had even threatened action against Hermoso for refusing to accept Rubiales's version of the kiss that happened at the on-field medal and trophy presentation after Spain's 1-0 win against England last Sunday.
    
The suspension should prevent Rubiales working in football or having contact with other officials. 
    
FIFA disciplinary judge Jorge Palacio also intervened on Saturday to protect the "fundamental rights" of Hermoso and the integrity of the disciplinary case.

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If found guilty by the Spanish court, Rubiales could be ruled unfit to hold office.

Local media had originally reported that Rubiales would announce his resignation to Friday's general assembly of the federation.

Messages of support for Hermoso poured in from the world of women's football, and beyond.  Real Madrid, Barcelona and other clubs issued statements criticizing Rubiales and backing the government's move to oust him. Political parties from both the left and right in Spain said he was unfit to continue in his post. Iberia airlines and other sponsors for the federations said they were with the government as well.

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Rubiales is a vice president of UEFA, holding the No. 3-ranking elected position at the top of the European football body which pays him 250,000 euros (USD 270,000) annually plus expenses
    
He was elected to the executive committee by UEFA member federations in 2019 and was within weeks promoted to the vice presidency by UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin.
    
Neither UEFA nor Ceferin have commented on the Rubiales scandal this week. FIFA has now intervened in the case twice.

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