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Rubiales three-year ban for World Cup kiss confirmed by FIFA

Disgraced former Spanish football chief Luis Rubiales will be banned from the game for three years, world football governing body FIFA confirmed Friday after rejecting his appeal.

“The Appeal Committee was comfortably satisfied that Mr Rubiales behaved in a manner contrary to the principles enshrined under … the FIFA disciplinary code,” said FIFA in a statement.

Rubiales kissed Spain midfielder Jenni Hermoso on the lips against her will after the Women’s World Cup final in Sydney in August, for which he is set to face trial in Spain.

Rubiales denies the kiss was forced and could still appeal his worldwide ban from “football-related activities” by FIFA at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

FIFA initially provisionally suspended the chief before banning him from the sport for three years in October, which he eventually appealed.

Spain beat England to win the Women’s World Cup for the first time in their history but the triumph was tarnished by Rubiales’ behaviour and the subsequent fall-out.

The 46-year-old refused to resign from his post for three weeks in which worldwide pressure mounted against him, with various players striking against the Spanish football federation until significant changes were made.

Coach Jorge Vilda was dismissed by the federation and is one of three others who faces charges of coercion for allegedly pressuring Hermoso to say the kiss was consensual.

A Spanish judge proposed Thursday that Rubiales be tried on charges of sexual assault and coercion.

Judge Francisco de Jorge of Spain’s Audiencia Nacional top criminal court concluded the kiss “was not consensual and was a unilateral and unexpected move” by Rubiales.

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