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Spain Govt Sends Rubiales Paperwork To Sports Tribunal

Rubiales has vigorously defended the unsolicited kiss as "just a peck" that was entirely consensual, and repeatedly refused to resign.


In this handout image released by the Spanish Royal Football Federation (RFEF) on August 25, 2023, RFEF President Luis Rubiales delivers a speech during an extraordinary general assembly of the federation on August 25, 2023 in Las Rozas de Madrid. (Photo by Eidan RUBIO / RFEF / AFP)

 

Spain’s government said Tuesday it had submitted further paperwork to a specialist sports tribunal examining its complaints against scandal-hit football chief Luis Rubiales, who sparked outrage by forcibly kissing a Women’s World Cup player.

The documentation was requested by the Administrative Tribunal for Sport (TAD) which had on Monday started examining two complaints filed by the government against Rubiales, head of Spain’s RFEF football federation, over his behaviour at the Women’s World Cup final in Sydney on August 20.

The complaints were lodged on Friday by the National Sports Council (CSD), which is under the ministry of sports, after Rubiales forcibly kissed Spain midfielder Jenni Hermoso on the lips during the medal-giving ceremony.

“The National Sports Council has sent the required documentation,” the organisation said, referring to various public statements made by Hermoso, the Futpro women footballers’ union and the Women’s Professional Football League.

Rubiales has vigorously defended the unsolicited kiss as “just a peck” that was entirely consensual, and repeatedly refused to resign.

But Hermoso said the unwanted kiss had left her feeling “vulnerable and like the victim of an assault”, describing it as “an impulsive, macho act, out of place and with no type of consent on my part”.

He also came under fire for grabbing his crotch with both hands as he celebrated Spain’s 1-0 win against England while standing next to Spain’s Queen Letizia.

The government has accused Rubiales of “very serious offences” with the complaints referring to “abuses of authority” and “notorious and public acts that undermine the dignity and decorum of sport”.

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If the TAD accepts the complaints and initiates proceedings, the National Sports Council will be able to suspend Rubiales within 48 hours until the court’s final ruling in the case.

It was unclear how long it would take the TAD to decide on whether to admit the complaints.

The 46-year-old has already been suspended for 90 days by FIFA while it decides on disciplinary proceedings.

On Tuesday, Sports Minister Miquel Iceta hit back at criticism that the proceedings against Rubiales were too slow, saying the government had been “been very scrupulous” in following the letter of the law to avoid “any future challenges or appeals that could lengthen the process”.

Spanish prosecutors have also opened a preliminary investigation into Rubiales’ kiss on grounds it could constitute “sexual assault” which under Spanish law covers a wide array of offences from online abuse to rape.

AFP