The international governing body of football, FIFA, announced on Saturday a suspension of the Spanish soccer federation president, Luis Rubiales. This comes as an investigation is launched into his actions during the Women’s World Cup final, where he reportedly kissed a player without her permission.
Rubiales has thus been removed from his soccer-related duties for a period of 90 days while the disciplinary proceedings against him are ongoing. Though there was high pressure for him to step down during an emergency meeting of the Spanish soccer federation’s general assembly on Friday, Rubiales refused to do so.
Yet to provide a timeline for the ruling, FIFA's disciplinary panel holds the power to enforce a range of penalties from warnings and fines to further suspensions from the sport.
Prior to FIFA's intervention, the Spanish federation even confronted renowned player Jenni Hermoso after she rejected Rubiales’s account of the incident that unfolded at the championship's medal and trophy presentation following Spain's victory over England.
This interim suspension issued by FIFA is set to restrain Rubiales from actively participating in soccer matters and deter him from having any official contacts.
Also stepping in on Saturday was FIFA disciplinary judge Jorge Palacio, to protect Hermoso and maintain the disciplinary case's integrity, FIFA ordered Luis Rubiales to stop himself or any affiliates from making contact with Hermoso or those closely associated with her.
A Colombian lawyer with experience in women's rights, Palacio has also served on the constitutional court. Rubiales currently holds one of the top roles in UEFA, earning him an annual payment of 250,000 euros ($270,000), plus expenses.
Rubiales was elected to the executive committee by UEFA member federations just two years ago in 2019. Shortly afterwards, he was awarded the vice presidency by UEFA's current president, Aleksander Čeferin.
Čeferin and the rest of UEFA have so far refrained from commenting on the ongoing scandal involving Rubiales. Nevertheless, this marks the second instance of FIFA stepping in the matter.