Debbie Hewitt, president of the English Football Association (FA), has made new allegations against Spain’s former head Luis Rubiales. Hewitt also accused the 46-year-old of inappropriate behavior towards England players at the Women’s World Cup medal ceremony.
England players also harassed
In a report published by the world governing body to justify FIFA’s verdict against Rubiales, Hewitt says he cupped and caressed the face of player Laura Coombs, which the FA president found somewhat strange, according to FIFA minutes. Then, according to Hewitt, he apparently forcefully kissed player Lucy Bronze on the face.
Rubiales, for his part, accused Hewitt of prejudice against himself, according to FIFA protocol. She also hugged several players, even though they held out their hands to receive a handshake, which, according to Hewitt’s logic, could also be understood as “violent, non-consensual physical contact”. Hewitt’s hypocrisy was blatant, Rubiales reported.
FIFA considered “more severe sanctions”
The FIFA report also shows that the world governing body considered a harsher punishment than the three-year ban and that there were “grave concerns”. “The Committee would like to emphasize that it considered imposing more severe sanctions given the seriousness of the incidents and because of the strong negative impact (…) on the image of FIFA, women’s football and sport in general.”
With his behavior immediately after the World Cup final between Spain and England in Sydney on August 20, Rubiales violated the provisions of Article 13 of the FIFA Disciplinary Code. He had announced that he wanted to take legal action against his ban. Rubiales asserts that the kiss with Hermoso was consensual. An investigation is also underway against him in Spain and, according to experts, he faces a prison sentence of up to four years.