The FIFA Disciplinary Committee announced Monday that former Spanish Football Association (RFEF) president Luis Rubiales has been banned from all national and international soccer activities for three years after forcibly kissing Spanish national team player Jenni Hermoso following Spain's win at the Women's World Cup in August.
Specifically, Rubiales violated article 13 of the FIFA disciplinary code, "offensive behaviour and violations of the principles of fair play." No other details of the disciplinary hearing were made public.
"FIFA reiterates its absolute commitment to respecting and protecting the integrity of all people and ensuring that the basic rules of decent conduct are upheld," the organization said in a statement.
The kiss happened during the trophy ceremony after the win. Hermoso walked up to Rubiales for a handshake or a hug, but instead Rubiales kissed her on the mouth. Rubiales was also accused of making inappropriate comments about Hermoso and other players in the locker room (at one point he reportedly said he wanted to marry Hermoso despite being married himself).
Hermoso was pressured in the days after the kiss to say it was consensual, but she consistently said the kiss was non-consensual and made her feel uncomfortable, like she was the "victim of an assault."
Rubiales kissing Hermoso tarnished what should have been an unquestioned triumph for Spain's women's national team, which had fought through a lot (including a player revolt against their manager which was largely ignored by RFEF) to beat England and win its very first World Cup.
Rubiales apologized several days after the incident and was expected to resign in a speech to the RFEF, but instead refused to resign, saying the kiss was consensual and he was the victim of a witch hunt by "false feminists." Following that, the team said it wouldn't play for Spain again until Rubiales was fired, the entire coaching staff resigned in protest (except manager Jorge Vilda, who was eventually fired), FIFA provisionally suspended him for 90 days, Hermoso filed charges against him for sexual assault, and also got a restraining order. Rubiales finally resigned Sept. 10.
This ruling is not the end of Rubiales. He has already filed an appeal with the FIFA Appeal Committee, writing in a post on X (formerly known as Twitter) that the three-year ban is an "injustice" and he is pursuing an appeal so the "truth" can shine.