Soccer’s global governing body on Monday banned Luis Rubiales, the former president of Spain’s soccer federation, from the sport for three years over his forcible kiss of a player after the Women’s World Cup final in August.
Mr. Rubiales’s kiss of Jennifer Hermoso during the Women’s World Cup medals ceremony cast a pall over the Spanish team’s celebrations, drawing attention away from a proud national moment and toward a legacy of sexism in Spanish soccer. It also led to accusations that he and the federation had pressured the player to say the kiss was consensual.
Ms. Hermoso instead filed a criminal complaint of sexual assault, and Mr. Rubiales — who initially had resisted calls to resign — was placed under a provisional 90-day suspension while FIFA, soccer’s governing body, investigated the incident. He quit as the head of Spain’s soccer federation less than a week after the final, and amid a revolt by the women’s team.
On Monday, FIFA’s Disciplinary Committee said that Mr. Rubiales would be banned from “all football-related activities at the national and international levels for three years” for breaching the organization’s disciplinary code by his actions after the final on Aug. 20. It did not provide further details on the findings but said that Mr. Rubiales can appeal the decision.
“FIFA reiterates its absolute commitment to respecting and protecting the integrity of all people and ensuring that the basic rules of decent conduct are upheld,” it said in a statement.
There was no immediate comment from Ms. Hermoso or Spain’s women’s team, which had refused to play in light of the incident with Mr. Rubiales.
Mr. Rubiales has insisted he did nothing wrong at the medals ceremony, describing the kiss as a consensual “peck.”
Ms. Hermoso has said that she “felt vulnerable and the victim of an impulse-driven, sexist, out-of-place act without any consent on my part” — and that she had initially faced pressure to downplay Mr. Rubiales’s actions.