Luis Rubiales currently sits in the boiling pot of controversy following his inexplicable incident with FIFA Women's World Cup winner Jennifer Hermoso. The president of the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) was photographed kissing Hermoso on her lips as the Pachuca midfielder proceeded to collect her winning medal.
The former Spanish defender has since attracted a lot of criticism due to his baffling actions, with Hermoso herself coming out to blast Rubiales' actions. The midfielder recently issued a statement regarding the infamous episode, stating that her agency TMJ and Spain’s Association of Professional Soccer Players (FUTPRO) would be 'defending her interests and acting as spokespersons on this matter' (source: CNN).
Consequently, reports of Luis Rubiales' eventual resignation have emerged, and the president could be out of a job sooner rather than later.
Even FIFA, the world governing body for the beautiful sport, has issued a statement against Luis Rubiales, opening disciplinary proceedings against the 46-year-old official. The renowned organization released a public statement, which read as follows:
The events may constitute violations of article 13 paragraphs 1 and 2 of the FIFA Disciplinary Code. Article 13 relates to infringements of laws of the game, for example "violating the basic rules of decent conduct".
With the majority of the footballing world taking arms against him, Luis Rubiales is headed towards a very troublesome situation.
Luis Rubiales' actions took centre stage as Spain recorded a historic win at the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup
Amidst the controversy incited by RFEF's president, Spain's heroics at the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup seemed to have taken a backseat. While the unfortunate incident is not something to be taken lightly, La Roja's maiden title at the biggest stage in women's football deserves more attention.
Similar to their male counterparts in 2010, Spain fielded a side dominated by Barcelona players in the final, starting as many as seven players contracted to the Blaugrana. The women made history by winning their first FIFA Women's World Cup in their third appearance, having failed to qualify for the competition, six consecutive times since its inception in 1991.
Dubbed the 'female Iniesta' by Pep Guardiola, 25-year-old Aitana Bonmati won the Golden Ball at the tournament, with the aforementioned Jennifer Hermoso winning the Silver Ball. Bonmati's Blaugrana compatriot Salma Paralluelo bagged the Young Player award, aged 19. Bonmati and Hermoso finished as La Roja's top scorers at the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup, netting three goals each.