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FIFA investigates Spanish football official Luis Rubiales for misconduct | Football News

FIFA, the governing body of football, has initiated disciplinary action against Luis Rubiales, a Spanish football official, following his conduct during the celebration of Spain’s victory in the Women’s World Cup final. Rubiales faced criticism after he kissed player on the lips during the trophy and medal ceremony. This gesture, along with his earlier act of grabbing his crotch in the presence of Queen Letizia of Spain and 16-year-old Sofía, has prompted FIFA’s disciplinary committee to investigate whether Rubiales has violated its code of conduct.

The committee will evaluate whether Rubiales’ actions have breached the “basic of decent conduct” and have brought football and FIFA into disrepute. FIFA reiterated its commitment to upholding the of individuals and condemned any behavior contrary to this. Although the specific acts under investigation were not disclosed, Hermoso expressed her displeasure with the kiss, and the national players union, which Rubiales once led, called for appropriate punishment for his behavior.

Víctor Francos, Spain’s secretary of state for sports, also criticized Rubiales’ conduct, particularly the gesture of grabbing his testicles in the exclusive section where he was seated. The secretary of state emphasized that such actions cannot be defended. FIFA did not provide a timeline for reaching a decision, but the disciplinary judges have the authority to impose various sanctions, including warnings, fines, and even suspensions from the sport.

The disciplinary panel responsible for the case is chaired by Jorge Palacio, a former court judge and member of Colombia’s Constitutional Court. Three of its 16 members, who are women from England, Mexico, and Thailand, are likely to judge the case. Rubiales, who serves as a vice president of UEFA, earning €250,000 ($270,000) annually, was the highest- representative from the European football body at the Women’s World Cup final.

The Royal Spanish Football Federation, under Rubiales’ leadership for the past five years, has called for an emergency meeting in Madrid on Friday. The purpose of the meeting is unclear, as it remains to be seen whether it will provide support for Rubiales or respond to the pressure from Spanish government and football officials seeking his removal from the position. Rubiales, who previously led the Spanish players union for eight years, is currently leading Spain’s bid, backed by UEFA, to host the men’s World Cup in 2030. However, Francos believes that Rubiales’ conduct has damaged the country’s as it seeks support for the bid.

FIFA had initially delayed the of the bid contest for the 2030 World Cup, with a decision expected in late 2021. The Spain-led bid, in partnership with Portugal, Morocco, and possibly Ukraine, is currently favored over a four-nation South American plan. The South American plan, presented by , Chile, Paraguay, and Uruguay (the host of the inaugural 1930 World Cup), faces competition from a potential bid by Saudi Arabia. However, the 2034 edition is considered more likely for Saudi Arabia’s bid.

Ultimately, FIFA’s disciplinary proceedings against Rubiales will determine the consequences of his actions, and the emergency meeting of the Royal Spanish Football Federation may shed light on his future as the federation’s president. Meanwhile, the bidding process for the 2030 World Cup continues, with Spain’s image at stake as it seeks to secure the hosting rights.

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