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FIFA suspends Spanish soccer president over unsolicited kiss

Luis Rubiales said he will not resign as president of RFEF. (Photo by Pierre-Philippe MARCOU / AFP) (Photo by PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/AFP via Getty Images)

Luis Rubialies is refusing calls to resign from his post as president of the Spanish soccer federation, but that doesn’t mean he’s immune from disciplinary action.

On Saturday, FIFA provisionally suspended Rubiales from all soccer-related activities for 90 days. Hermoso has come under fire for kissing Spain star Jenni Hermoso on the lips during the team’s World Cup medal ceremony. Hermoso has said the kiss was non-consensual.

“The chairman of the FIFA Disciplinary Committee, Jorge Ivan Palacio (Colombia), in use of the powers granted by article 51 of the FIFA Disciplinary Code (FDC), has decided today to provisionally suspend Mr. Luis Rubiales from all football-related activities at national and international level,” FIFA said in a statement. “This suspension, which will be effective as of today, is for an initial period of 90 days, pending the disciplinary proceedings opened against Mr. Luis Rubiales on Thursday, Aug. 24.

“Likewise, the RFEF and its officials or employees, directly or through third parties, are ordered to refrain from contacting the professional player of the Spanish national team Ms. Jennifer Hermoso and her close environment.”

The federation issued a statement in response to the suspension.

“Luis Rubiales has stated that he will legally defend himself in the competent bodies, he fully trusts FIFA and reiterates that, in this way, he is given the opportunity to begin his defense so that the truth prevails and his complete innocence is proven.”

In another statement from RFEF released Saturday, the federation doubled down on its condemnation of Hermoso.

“The facts are what they are and, no matter how many statement you put out to distort reality, it is impossible to change what happened,” the statement read. “The peck was with consent. Consent is given at the moment with the conditions of the moment. Afterwards you can think that you have made a mistake, but you cannot change the reality.”