FIFA Suspends Spanish Football President Rubiales After World Cup Incident
In a recent incident that followed Spain's victory at the Women's World Cup, Luis Rubiales, the President of the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF), has been temporarily suspended by FIFA, the global governing body of soccer. The suspension comes as a consequence of Rubiales' actions, during which he grabbed the head of player Jenni Hermoso and kissed her on the lips.
The FIFA Disciplinary Committee, led by Chairman Jorge Ivan Palacio, has announced the provisional suspension of Luis Rubiales from all football-related activities on both national and international levels. This suspension, effective immediately, is slated for an initial duration of 90 days. The Committee further directed Rubiales to avoid any contact, whether directly or indirectly, with Jennifer Hermoso or her immediate circle.
In response to these developments, the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) released a statement on behalf of Luis Rubiales. He expressed his intention to legally defend himself through the appropriate channels, displaying unwavering confidence in the fairness of FIFA's procedures. He emphasized that this situation allows him to initiate his defense, with the aim of establishing the truth and confirming his complete innocence. In accordance with the statutes of the RFEF, Pedro Rocha Junco, the Deputy Vice-President to the Presidency, will assume the role of interim president during this suspension period.
Prominent figures within the football community have voiced their opinions regarding the incident and its aftermath. Xavi Hernandez, the manager of Barcelona, conveyed his unequivocal support for Jennifer Hermoso and the entire team. He condemned the actions of Luis Rubiales and lamented that the historic achievement of winning the World Cup was being overshadowed.
Hollie Varney, the Chief Operating Officer of Kick It Out, an organization dedicated to combating discrimination, pointed out the lack of accountability in the matter. She called on international bodies like FIFA and UEFA, as well as the Spanish government, to address these issues and evaluate the leadership competence within the Spanish FA. She appreciated FIFA's swift decision to provisionally suspend Rubiales pending further investigation.
Gary Lineker, the former England and Barcelona striker turned television pundit, expressed relief at the suspension, expressing his dissatisfaction that Rubiales' behavior had diverted attention from the Spanish women's exceptional accomplishment in the World Cup.
Ian Wright, another former England striker and television pundit, echoed the sentiment of accountability and unity. He praised FIFA for taking action but also called attention to UEFA's silence in response to the incident. He criticized the lack of solidarity and remarks that the organization entrusted with shaping the future of women's football should take a more proactive stance.
In conclusion, the incident involving Luis Rubiales and Jennifer Hermoso has prompted FIFA to issue a provisional suspension and has sparked reactions from various quarters of the football community, underlining the importance of accountability, fair representation, and respect within the sport.