FIFA President Gianni Infantino said Luis Rubiales “spoiled” the Spanish team’s celebrations at the Women’s World Cup by kissing player Jenni Hermoso on the lips.
The world governing body has opened disciplinary proceedings against Spanish federation (RFEF) chief Rubiales and suspended him from all soccer-related activities for three months after kissing Hermoso during the trophy presentation ceremony after the final on Aug. 20.
Hermoso, 33, has said the kiss was not consensual.
Rubiales, who first called critics “idiots” then apologised, says the kiss was innocent and consensual and has refused to quit despite mounting criticism and calls for his resignation.
“The well-deserved celebrations for these magnificent champions were spoiled by what happened after the final whistle,” Infantino, who was at the presentation, wrote on Instagram on Thursday.
“And what continued to happen in the following days. This should never have happened. FIFA’s disciplinary bodies immediately assumed their responsibility and took the necessary actions.
“The disciplinary proceedings will continue their legitimate course. On our side, we should continue to focus on how to further support women and women’s football in future, both on and off the pitch.”
Spanish prosecutors have opened a preliminary investigation into whether Rubiales, 46, might have committed an act of sexual aggression.
Spain’s World Cup-winning squad and 32 other players said they would no longer play for the national side under the current leadership.
Women team’s coach Jorge Vilda, who faced down a player mutiny to steer his team to World Cup glory, is to be sacked in the increasingly acrimonious fallout from the scandal, a football federation source said on Thursday.