FIFA suspend Spanish football chief Rubiales over Hermoso kiss

Several Spanish women’s team staff also offers to quit over Rubiales

BARCELONA  -  FIFA suspended Luis Rubiales as president of Spain’s football federation on Saturday for kiss­ing Women’s World Cup play­er Jenni Hermoso on the lips, and banned him from mak­ing contact with her. The move by world football’s governing body was the latest develop­ment in a deepening row be­tween Rubiales and the feder­ation (RFEF) and Hermoso and her Spain teammates which the players say has tarnished the glory of winning the World Cup in Australia last Sunday.

“(We) decided today to pro­visionally suspend Mr. Luis Ru­biales from all football-related activities at national and inter­national level,” FIFA said.

The majority of the Spanish women’s national team coach­ing staff offered their resig­nations on Saturday over fed­eration chief Luis Rubiales’ conduct, although controver­sial coach Jorge Vilda was not among them. “In light of the un­acceptable attitudes and state­ments made by the leader of the RFEF (Spanish football fed­eration), (we) have made the decision to place (our) jobs at the disposition of the RFEF,” read a statement released on social media, signed by 11 fed­eration staff members.

Six of the staff who are offering to resign worked with the first team squad during their Wom­en’s World Cup triumph, while the others operate at various youth age levels for the RFEF.

“The undersigned express their firmest and most emphat­ic condemnation of the conduct shown by (Rubiales),” wrote the RFEF staff members, refer­ring to his forced kiss of Spain midfielder Jenni Hermoso, who said she did not consent to it.

“(After) the president of the RFEF did not present his resig­nation and ... offered a story that does not reflect in any way any of the feelings of (Hermoso) who has expressly stated that she felt like a ‘victim of assault’, (we) sup­port the player Jennifer Hermoso, endorsing her version of events.” Rubiales, suspended from his post by football governing body FIFA on Saturday, planted a kiss on Hermoso’s lips after Spain beat England to win the World Cup on Sunday in Sydney. Un­der unprecedented pressure, the president was expected to resign on Friday but insisted he would not quit. Hermoso said she “in no way” consented to the kiss, while Rubiales says she agreed to it.

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