Committee considered tougher sanctions for ‘inexcusable’ Luis Rubiales conduct

By Sports Desk December 06, 2023

The committee which imposed a three-year ban on former Spanish Football Federation president Luis Rubiales for his conduct at the Women’s World Cup final said it had been tempted to impose a more severe sanction.

A FIFA disciplinary committee said Rubiales had acted with “a sense of complete impunity” at the Spain v England match on August 20 in Sydney.

He grabbed his genitals in celebration of Spain’s victory while stood in the VIP area and kissed midfielder Jennifer Hermoso on the lips during the medal presentation. Hermoso has said she did not consent to the kiss.

The committee, which imposed a ban on Rubiales on October 30, said in the written grounds of its decision: “All incidents assessed collectively, (together with Rubiales’ position in relation to them) appear to reveal a sense of complete impunity on the part of the respondent within the football environment.

“It was absolutely and categorically expected of him to maintain and embody the highest levels of professionalism, beyond the usual standards, especially at a moment where his country was at the apex level of women’s football.

“In this regard, the committee could not stress enough that – regardless of the emotional state he was in during and after the match – (Rubiales’) behaviour was inexcusable and unacceptable, especially considering his high rank within the football ecosystem at the time.

“While taking into account the undeniable media impact of (Rubiales’) behaviour and its repercussions on the reputation of football as well as of FIFA, but also and more importantly, on (Hermoso’s) mental state, the committee considered that a ban for a duration of three years was justified.

“The committee wished to stress that it was tempted to impose more severe sanctions in view of the seriousness and gravity of the incidents at stake as well as of the profound negative impact that (Rubiales’) actions had on the image of FIFA, women’s football and women’s sport in general.”

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