Former Spanish Football Association president Luis Rubiales has said he intends to appeal against his three-year ban from all football-related activity imposed by FIFA.
Rubiales kissed Jenni Hermoso on the lips during the trophy presentation following Spain’s victory over England in the World Cup final on August 20, but Hermoso said the kiss was not consensual.
World football’s governing body announced earlier on Monday that Rubiales had been banned for a breach of article 13 of the FIFA disciplinary code.
Rubiales confirmed in a statement on social media he will appeal against FIFA’s punishment.
He ended his lengthy post by saying: “I will go to the last resort so that justice is done and the truth shines through.”
FIFA’s statement released earlier on Monday read: “The FIFA disciplinary committee has banned Luis Rubiales, the former president of the Spanish Football Association (RFEF), from all football-related activities at national and international levels for three years, having found that he acted in breach of article 13 of the FIFA disciplinary code.”
FIFA said its decision was subject to a possible appeal before its appeal committee.
The FIFA Disciplinary Committee has banned Luis Rubiales, the former president of the Spanish Football Association, from all football-related activities at national and international levels for three years
— FIFA Media (@fifamedia) October 30, 2023
After Rubiales’ resignation from RFEF was made public on September 10, he stated his desire to “defend my innocence” and insisted he had “faith” in the truth.
The actions of the former UEFA vice-president at the World Cup final were widely condemned at the time, after he also celebrated his nation’s victory by grabbing his crotch while standing alongside Spain’s Queen Letizia and 16-year-old Princess Infanta Sofia in the VIP box in Sydney.
Rubiales did apologise for his actions in a video statement a day after, but later in August insisted he would not resign and claimed the kiss was consensual during a speech in front of Spain’s regional federations, clubs, players, coaches and referees in Madrid.
All of Spain’s World Cup-winning squad subsequently indicated they would be unavailable for national team duty while Rubiales remained in post before he was banned by FIFA from all football-related activities for an initial 90-day period on August 26.
Spain manager Jorge Vilda was sacked soon after on September 5 and the RFEF apologised at the time for the “enormous damage” caused by Rubiales’ actions.
After Hermoso formally submitted a complaint about Rubiales to Spain’s national prosecutor’s office that same week, days later the complaint of sexual assault and an allegation of coercion was filed by the office to the high court.
Former Levante defender Rubiales’ did eventually resign, but later in September refused to apologise directly to Hermoso and continued to insist it had been a “consensual” kiss.