FIFA suspends Spanish soccer chief over Hermoso kiss

FIFA on Saturday suspended Spanish federation chief,  Luis Rubiales from all football related activities for three months over allegations of an unwanted kiss on the lips of player Jenni Hermoso after Spain’s women won the World Cup.

Rubiales` suspension from national and international activities takes immediate effect, FIFA said in a statement about the action taken by its disciplinary committee chief Jorge Ivan Palacio.

FIFA had opened disciplinary measures against  Rubiales on Thursday over his actions on  Sunday in Sydney.

He said he would defend himself to prove his “complete innocence”.

Rubiales, 46, has been defiant over the kiss which has been condemned as unwanted by Hermoso, her team mates and the Spanish government – arguing it was consensual.

Earlier on Saturday the Spanish federation he heads had said it would stick by him.

After the FIFA statement, a spokesperson for the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) said: “We respect all the pronouncements of FIFA.”

In a statement hours before FIFA’s announcement  on Saturday, the Spanish federation said it would show there had been lies told about what happened by Hermoso or people speaking for her.

The statement, issued on the RFEF website, said it would take appropriate legal action to defend Rubiales’ honour, but did not say what the action would consist of.

In a statement through the federation, Rubiales said: “Luis Rubiales has stated that he will legally defend himself in the competent bodies.” (Reuters/NAN)