FIFA Considered “More Severe Sanctions” For Rubiales

Written by Oluwaseun Oyediji

A 35-page report detailing the investigation that led FIFA to impose a three-year ban on former Spain FA president Luis Rubiales was released in full.

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The report stated the soccer governing body considered “more severe sanctions” on Rubiales based on eyewitness testimony that included New Zealand and English FA leadership.

Testimony asserted that in addition to lewd gestures and the unwanted kissing of Spain forward Jenni Hermoso during the World Cup medal ceremony, Rubiales also “cupped and stroked the face” of England’s Laura Coombs and “seemingly forcefully” kissed Lucy Bronze on the face.

Rubiales, for his part, continued to justify his actions and deny any wrongdoing, saying he stroked Coombs’ face out of a show of comfort.

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The report went on to say that the disciplinary committee was satisfied with the three-year ban, only with “strong hesitations.”

Spanish state prosecutors formally accused Luis Rubiales of alleged sexual assault and an act of coercion after he kissed Spain forward Jenni Hermoso on the lips after Spain won the FIFA Women's World Cup final 2023 in Australia.


Disgraced former Spanish football federation president Luis Rubiales “seemingly forcefully kissed” an England player on her face before kissing Jenni Hermoso without her consent at the Women’s World Cup, English Football Association chair Debbie Hewitt told FIFA’s disciplinary committee.

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A FIFA report released on Wednesday said Rubiales, who was given a three-year ban in October, acted with “a sense of complete impunity” at the trophy ceremony after Spain’s 1-0 win over England in Sydney on August 20.

Hewitt was asked to give evidence and the report includes a summary of her submission, wherein Hewitt was quoted as saying she watched as Rubiales “cupped and stroked” the face of the England player, Laura Coombs.

Hewitt, who was standing next to Rubiales, found the gesture to be “slightly odd and then he seemingly forcefully kissed the English player Lucy Bronze on her face”, the report said, adding that she “felt deeply uncomfortable and embarrassed” at the way Rubiales greeted the Spanish players, which included tapping one on the bottom.

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