SPAIN´S booted football boss, Luis Rubiales, has been accused of kissing and touching two ENGLISH female footballers.
The incidents are believed to have occurred at the Women’s World Cup Final, where the former Spanish Football Federation President (RFEF) allegedly kissed player Jenni Hermoso without consent.
According to the FIFA disciplinary committee report, the former UEFA vice president acted with ‘complete impunity’ during the award ceremony of this year’s World Cup final in Sydney.
The report, which was released this week, revealed further allegations against Rubiales.
The president of the English Football Association, Debbi Hewitt, has accused him of inappropriately touching two British players during the celebrations.
In a statement to the disciplinary committee, Hewitt claims Rubiales ‘forcefully’ kissed Lucy Bronze and ‘stroked’ the face of midfielder Laura Coombs.
In response, Rubiales has accused the Football Association President of ‘hypocrisy’ and ‘disgusting behaviour’.
He continued: “She is suggesting I’m some sort of creep.”
Rubiales received a three year ban from football activity in October following the incident, where he was seen grabbing and thrusting his crotch, throwing female players over his shoulders and most notably, grabbing and kissing Spanish player Jenni Hermoso.
Alongside Hewitt, the committee received written statements from other officials who had witnessed Rubiales’ behaviour and wanted to give ‘first hand observations of its impact’.
Hewitt’s version of events substantiates Jenni Hermoso’s account of what FIFA refer to as ‘the kiss incident’.
According to the FIFA report, Debbi Hewitt said: “He shook the hand of every England player and touched a few on the arm.”
She claims he also ‘cupped and stroked’ Laura Coombs’ face, which she thought was ‘slightly odd’, before he ‘forcefully kissed’ the English player Lucy Bronze in the face.
Rubiales has called Hewitt’s claims ‘astonishing to read’ and claims she showed much ‘prejudice’ and ‘blatant hypocrisy’.
He continued: “She hugged several players even after clearly noticing that they were extending their hands to receive a handshake.
“The way she presents a gentle gesture of comfort to all the rivals … suggesting that I am some sort of creep, is absolutely disgusting.”
He claims he stroked Manchester City Midfielder Lucy Coombs to comfort her after she was injured in the final.
He also accused Hewitt of ‘blantantly lying’ in her account of the kiss involving Jenni Hermoso.
The 35-page report issued by the FIFA disciplinary committee is damning for Rubiales, who has yet to apologise to Hermoso.
He continues to insist the kiss was consensual despite the report’s statement that: “the Kiss could not be seen as having been consensual from the perspective of a reasonable and objective observer.”
However, he did accept that he should not have kissed Hermoso, grabbed his crotch or carried player Athena del Castillo.
He claims the latter did not ask to be put down in the gesture, which he claims was a tribute to Spain’s head coach, Jorge Vilda.
The committee ruled that even if the Rubiales’ version of events were true, his behaviour was unfitting of a RFEF president and brought football into ‘global disrepute’.
It said: “We were tempted to impose more severe sanctions in view of the seriousness and gravity of the incidents at stake as well as of the profound negative impact that the respondent’s actions had on the image of Fifa, women’s football and women’s sport in general.”
Despite this, the committee ultimately agreed that a three?year suspension would “serve the necessary deterrent effect”.
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