FIFA Opens Disciplinary Proceedings Against Rubiales Over Kiss

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World football's governing body FIFA has opened disciplinary proceedings against the Spanish Football Association's president after he kissed a player on the lips at the Women's World Cup final.

Football's global governing body, FIFA, announced on Thursday that its disciplinary committee had opened proceedings against Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) President Luis Rubiales

“The FIFA disciplinary committee informed Luis Rubiales, president of the Spanish Football Association, today that it is opening disciplinary proceedings against him based on the events that occurred during the final,” world football’s governing body said in a statement.

The move comes amid outrage over Rubiales forcibly kissing Spanish player Jenni Hermoso on the lips following last Sunday's World Cup final.

In a statement, FIFA said the incident "may constitute violations of article 13, paragraphs 1 and 2 of the FIFA disciplinary code."

Article 13 deals with the "offensive behavior" of players and officials, particularly in terms of "violating the basic rules of decent conduct" and "behaving in a way that brings the sport into disrepute."

"FIFA reiterates its unwavering commitment to respecting the integrity of all individuals and strongly condemns any behavior to the contrary," the statement added.

The incident happened as the Spanish team had assembled on the podium to receive their winner's medals and congratulations from FIFA President Gianni Infantino, Spain's Queen Letizia and Rubiales.

The RFEF president kissed Hermoso on the cheek, then he grabbed the head of the 33-year-old and pressed a kiss onto her mouth.

Minutes earlier, Rubiales, who watched the match from the VIP section of the stadium, was seen in video footage grabbing his crotch in an apparent gesture of victory.

FIFA has given no indication of when its disciplinary committee can be expected to hand down a ruling.

The global soccer governing body's move is just the latest development in a story that has overshadowed Spain's first Women's World Cup title.

On Wednesday, Hermoso issued a joint statement with the Spanish players' union, FUTPRO, which called for action to be taken against the RFEF president.

"We are working to ensure that acts such as those we have seen never go unpunished, that they are sanctioned and that the exemplary measures are adopted to protect women footballers from actions that we believe are unacceptable," it said.

For his part, Rubiales initially rebuffed the many critics of his conduct, who have included Spanish politicians, including the acting prime minister. However, he later apologized in a video statement issued by the RFEF.

Meanwhile, the RFEF has launched its own investigation into the incident and said it had called an "extraordinary assembly" for Friday.