FIFA suspends Luis Rubiales after outcry over Jenni Hermoso kiss at World Cup final

Luis Rubiales has been suspended following intense pressure from players, clubs and officials.

The president of the Spanish FA has been suspended after he kissed Jenni Hermoso at the women's World Cup final.

Luis Rubiales sparked controversy when he kissed Hermoso on the lips following Spain's win over England on Sunday, as Hermoso said she did not consent.

A number of Spain’s coaching staff, with the exception of boss Jorge Vilda, have since resigned en masse following Rubiales' conduct at the final.

Rubiales refused to resign from his football presidency on Friday at an emergency meeting where he had been expected to leave under intense pressure from the Spanish government, female players, football clubs and officials.

On Saturday, FIFA confirmed it had provisionally suspended Rubiales from "all football-related activities at national and international level".

It said the suspension would be effective for an initial period of 90 days, pending the disciplinary proceedings FIFA opened against Rubiales on Thursday.

The FIFA Disciplinary Committee has also refrained Rubiales and the Spanish FA from "contacting or attempting to contact" Hermoso.

Luis Rubiales (left) has faced heavy criticism for his actions at the World Cup final. Credit: AP

A FIFA spokesperson said: "The FIFA Disciplinary Committee will not provide any further information on these disciplinary proceedings until a final decision has been taken."FIFA reiterates its absolute commitment to respect the integrity of all persons and therefore condemns with the utmost vigour any behaviour to the contrary."

Earlier on Saturday, the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) had accused Hermoso of "lies" and threatened legal action, claiming the player had embraced and lifted the president with "indisputable force" during the incident.

The RFEF said it had contacted Hermoso about her criticism of Rubiales, but she had not responded.

On Friday, the Spanish government said it wanted to take Rubiales to tribunal, with an official claiming the incident could be the '#MeToo of Spanish football'.

Meanwhile, the Lionesses put out a statement on Friday night, telling the Spanish team: "We all stand with you."

"Unacceptable actions allowed to happen by a sexist and patriarchal organisation. Abuse is abuse and we have all seen the truth.

"The behaviour of those who think they are invincible must not be tolerated and people shouldn't need convincing to take action against any form of harassment."

Spain coach Jorge Vilda was the only member of the women’s national team’s coaching staff not to tender their resignation earlier on Saturday, but he has now broken his silence on events, describing his behaviour as “improper” and “unacceptable”.

In a statement published in Marca, Vilda said: “The events that have taken place since Spain won the Women’s World Cup for the first time in its history…have been a real nonsense and have generated an unprecedented situation, tarnishing a deserved triumph of our players and our country.

“I deeply regret that the victory of Spanish women’s football has been harmed by the improper behaviour that our until now president, Luis Rubiales, has carried out and that he himself has acknowledged.

“There is no doubt that it is unacceptable and does not reflect at all the principles and values that I defend in my life, in sport in general and in football in particular.

“A clearly undesirable climate has been generated, far from what should have been a great celebration of Spanish sport and women’s sport.

Vilda continued: “My work as the women’s national coach and sports director of the women’s national team has always been aimed at achieving sporting success, but also at promoting initiatives that promote inclusion, respect and equity.

“I reiterate my unwavering commitment to promoting a sport that is a model of equality and respect in our society.”

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