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Why has FIFA suspended Spanish football chief Luis Rubiales?

Spanish soccer federation president Luis Rubiales was suspended from office on Saturday amid a brewing controversy over a kiss at the Women’s World Cup final. The former defender has been removed from soccer duties for 90 days “pending the disciplinary proceedings opened” against him. The development came mere hours after he refused to resign from his soccer presidency during an emergency meeting of the Spanish soccer federation’s general assembly.

Rubiales stands accused of forcing a kiss on midfielder Jenni Hermoso at the World Cup final. The incident took place during the trophy and medal ceremony as the team was celebrating its victory in the Women’s World Cup final. He was also seen grabbing his crotch as a victory gesture in the exclusive section of seats…with Queen Letizia of Spain and 16-year-old Princess Sofía standing nearby.

Hermoso had said soon after the incident that she did not like the kiss.

“I felt vulnerable and a victim of an assault, an impulsive, macho act, out of place and with no type of consent on my part. Simply, I was not respected,” she said in a social media statement.

While Rubiales appeared in a video to apologise for the incident, he has remained defiant about the circumstances surrounding the kiss. The Spanish football federation on Saturday accused Women’s World Cup player Jenni Hermoso’s of “lies” in her comments about her kiss with Rubiales.

(With inputs from agencies)

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Updated: 26 Aug 2023, 08:07 PM IST

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