Luis Rubiales in Madrid, Spain, August 22, 2023. JUAN MEDINA / REUTERS
Former Spanish football boss Luis Rubiales showed up ” aggressive “ after the final of the Women’s World Cup and made gestures “inappropriate” towards English players, testified the president of the English federation, Debbie Hewitt, according to a text published Wednesday by FIFA.
Read the analysis: Article reserved for our subscribers The Rubiales affair, symbol of football lagging behind feminist struggles in Spain
The global governing body made public a summary of the testimonies collected by its disciplinary committee, which led it, on October 30, to suspend Luis Rubiales for three years from all football-related activities.
The manager not only kissed Spanish striker Jenni Hermoso “completely and forcefully on the mouth”reported the president of the Football Association (FA), but he also had troubled behavior with certain English internationals, according to her.
According to FIFA, Ms Hewitt said Luis Rubiales had “touched and caressed the face of the English player Laura Coombs, which [la présidente de la FA] found it slightly strange, then apparently forcibly kissed England player Lucy Bronze on the face ».
Other players kissed and forcefully hugged
Luis Rubiales “eagerly hugged and forcibly kissed other players on the cheeks, holding their heads and inappropriately patting parts of their bodies”said the English leader in another testimony, established jointly with the New Zealand federation.
In his response, Mr. Rubiales judged ” disgusting “ that Debbie Hewitt describes it as “kind of a bad guy” and accused her of “blatant lies” or of “speaking out of ignorance”. Concerning Laura Coombs, he explains in particular that he “tried to comfort her” after his injury in the final, which left him with a head bandage and stitches.
The president of the FA has also raised the tone “unpleasant and unnecessarily aggressive” from the Spanish, ” unhappy “ from the place assigned to him by FIFA staff before the medal ceremony.
On August 20, a few minutes after the world title of the women’s “Roja” in Sydney, the 46-year-old Spanish football boss surprised striker Jenni Hermoso on the mouth, provoking indignation in Spain and worldwide. Under pressure, Luis Rubiales ended up resigning on September 10, saying he was the victim of “disproportionate campaign”.
Read also: Forced kiss: Luis Rubiales resigns from the presidency of the Spanish Football Federation