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FIFA suspends Spanish soccer boss for World Cup kiss – POLITICO

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World football’s governing body has temporarily suspended Spanish soccer boss Luis Rubiales as it investigates allegations of sexual harassment that have disrupted the sport.

Under the suspension announced on Saturday, Rubiales will not be able to take part in any sport-related activity domestically or internationally for the next 90 days, while FIFA’s disciplinary body investigates allegations that he kissed a player without his consent.

Rubiales kissed Spain striker Jenni Hermoso on the lips as the team celebrated winning the Women’s World Cup last Sunday. The team’s 1-0 win over England has since been completely overshadowed by the controversy over the kiss, which Hermoso said he didn’t enjoy.

Despite the escalating outcry – including the launch of FIFA’s disciplinary proceedings on Thursday – Rubiales defied expectations and refused to step down. Instead, he gave a defiant speech Friday portraying himself as a victim of “false feminism” and insisted that Hermoso had given him permission to fuck him.

Hermoso again dismissed his claims Friday night. “I felt vulnerable and the victim of an impulsive, sexist and inappropriate act, without any consent on my part,” she said. said on social mediaadding that she had been pressured to make a statement defending Rubiales.

As the storm continued to escalate, most players from the Spanish soccer team said they would not play for the national team without a managerial change. On Saturday night, the team’s coaching staff announced their resignation over the controversy, citing “unacceptable attitudes and statements by the president” and saying that Rubiales “had come up with a story that in no way reflects what felt Jenni Hermoso”. reported the BBC.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez’s government was also pushing for Rubiales’ ousting.

On Saturday, the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) went after Hermoso and ‘third parties’, who a statement said had prepared their final comments in order to ‘have the necessary elements’ to trigger Rubiales’ suspension.

In suspending Rubiales on Saturday, the chairman of the FIFA Disciplinary Committee also banned Rubiales and the Spanish football federation from contacting Hermoso | Denis Doyle/Getty Images

“Jennifer Hermoso lies in all statements made against [Rubiales]as we will have the opportunity to prove when the time comes,” the RFEF said in a statement on Saturday.

“No matter how many statements they want to make to distort reality, it is impossible to change what happened,” the statement continued, concluding: “Afterwards, we can think that we were wrong, but we cannot change reality”.

In a separate statement released Friday evening, the federation threatened legal action against Hermoso.

In suspending Rubiales on Saturday, the chairman of FIFA’s Disciplinary Committee, Jorge Ivan Palacio, also prohibited Rubiales and the Spanish football federation from contacting Hermoso or his relatives in order to protect his “fundamental rights” and “the good order of the disciplinary procedure”.

The RFEF indicated on Saturday afternoon that Rubiales “declared that he would defend himself legally before the competent authorities”.

“He has full confidence in FIFA and reiterates that in this way he has the opportunity to begin his defense so that the truth prevails and his complete innocence is proven,” according to the RFEF statement.

FIFA’s statement says it will not provide further details until the Disciplinary Committee has made a final decision.

“FIFA reiterates its absolute commitment to respecting the integrity of all people and therefore condemns in the strongest possible terms any behavior to the contrary,” the statement read.

This article has been updated with Saturday’s statement from the Spanish Football Association.

Ali Walker contributed reporting.


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