FIFA’s Disciplinary Committee has opened disciplinary proceedings against Luis Rubiales, the president of the Spanish FA, following his unsolicited kiss on Women’s World Cup winner Jenni Hermoso, the global soccer body said on Thursday.
The incident – which happened as Rubiales was presenting the players with their gold medals after they beat England 1-0 in the final on Sunday – sparked outrage within and outside Spain, with Hermoso saying such acts should “never go unpunished”
“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 Women’s World Cup,” it said in a statement.
“The events may constitute violations of article 13 paragraphs 1 and 2 of the FIFA Disciplinary Code.”
Article 13 in the code deals with “offensive behaviour” of players and officials, particularly with “violating the basic rules of decent conduct” and “behaving in a way that brings the sport into disrepute”.
Acting Second Deputy Prime Minister Yolanda Diaz called for Rubiales’ resignation because “without any doubt (he) attacked a woman”.
Spain’s women’s football league, Liga F, called for Rubiales to be dismissed and said it had lodged a complaint with the president of the National Sports Council (CSD) over his “very serious actions and behaviour”.
Hermoso, who said after the final that she did not enjoy Rubiales’ kiss, added on Wednesday that her union FUTPRO and her agency TMJ were defending her interests in the matter.
“We are working to ensure that acts such as those we have seen never go unpunished, that they are sanctioned and that the exemplary measures are adopted to protect women footballers from actions that we believe are unacceptable,” she said.