Madrid, Aug 24 (EFE).- FIFA’s Disciplinary Committee has opened proceedings against the president of the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF), Luis Rubiales, according to a statement issued Thursday.
Rubiales kissed striker Jenni Hermoso on the lips during the medal ceremony after Spain had won the final of the Women’s World Cup on Sunday.
The kiss, footage of which went viral, and images of the RFEF president’s celebration in the box when he appeared to grab his genitals “may constitute violations of article 13 paragraphs 1 and 2 of the FIFA Disciplinary Code.”
In the second point of article 13, FIFA details patterns of behavior that could be subject to disciplinary measures, which include “violating basic rules of decent conduct”; “insulting a natural or legal person in any way, especially through the use of offensive gestures, signs or language”; and “behaving in a way that brings the sport of football and/or FIFA into disrepute.”
Rubiales’ kiss has generated widespread condemnation in Spain and beyond, with Spanish equality minister Irene Montero saying his behavior was “a form of sexual violence.”
Although Rubiales apologized on Monday, Spanish prime minister Pedro Sanchez described that as “insufficient”, calling it an “unacceptable gesture.”
“I think that (…) Rubiales’ apologies are not enough, even not adequate, he has to continue taking steps to clarify what we saw,” Sanchez said Tuesday.
In the statement, “FIFA reiterates its unwavering commitment to respecting the integrity of all individuals and strongly condemns any behavior to the contrary.”
FIFA will not comment further on the matter until a decision by the disciplinary committee has been reach, the statement added. EFE