FIFA has ended an ugly epilogue to an otherwise successful 2023 Women’s World Cup.
On Monday, the international soccer federation banned former Spanish Football Association (RFEF) president Luis Rubiales from “all football-related activities at national and international levels for three years.”
FIFA justified the suspension by saying that Rubiales violated article 13 of its disciplinary code — specifically, likely “behaving in a way that brings the sport of football and/or FIFA into disrepute” — when he non-consensually kissed player Jenni Hermoso during Spain’s World Cup victory celebration.
Rubiales will have the opportunity to appeal via FIFA’s appeal committee. He initially refused to resign his post in August, calling the allegations against him “social assassination,” but eventually relented after a provisional 90-day suspension from FIFA.
The Spanish women’s national team boycotted until the RFEF agreed to make “immediate and profound” changes to its structure. Patri Guijarro and Mapi León continued to boycott the team regarding issues preceding the current controversy.
Aside from the unpleasant sidenote in the aftermath, the 2023 Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand was a big success, garnering record viewership, attendance, and revenue.