Fifa dismisses Rubiales appeal against three-year ban over World Cup kiss

LONDON: World soccer governing body Fifa's appeal committee confirmed today its three-year ban on Luis Rubiales after dismissing an appeal by the former head of the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF).

Rubiales was banned for three years from all football-related activities on Oct 30 after kissing player Jenni Hermoso on the lips, allegedly without consent, following Spain's Women's World Cup final win over England in August.

Fifa said it had come to a decision after conducting a hearing. However, the decision may still be appealed before the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

"The Appeal Committee was comfortably satisfied that Mr Rubiales behaved in a manner contrary to the principles enshrined under article 13 of the Fifa Disciplinary Code during and after the final of the Fifa Women's World Cup," Fifa said.

Fifa added that Rubiales has been notified of the decision.

The 46-year-old resigned in September saying his position at the RFEF had become untenable. He had initially vowed not to stand down despite pressure from players, politicians and women's groups.

A Spanish High Court judge proposed on Thursday that Rubiales should

stand trial

over the kiss, saying that the investigation showed the kiss "was not consensual and was a unilateral and surprising initiative."

The judge also sought a trial for former women's team coach Jorge Vilda, as well as Albert Luque, the men's team's sport director, and Ruben Rivera, the federation's marketing chief, for pressuring Hermoso to say the kiss was consensual. --Reuters

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