FIFA, the soccer world’s governing body, said on Saturday that it had provisionally suspended Luis Rubiales, president of Spain’s soccer federation, amid an investigation that he forcibly kissed a player, Jennifer Hermoso, on the lips after Spain’s Women’s World Cup victory last Sunday.
In a statement, FIFA said that Mr. Rubiales would be suspended “from all football-related activities” at national and international levels for an initial period of 90 days, starting Saturday. The body also ordered both Mr. Rubiales and the soccer federation he chairs to refrain from contacting Ms. Hermoso, a forward on Spain’s winning national team.
The decision came less than a day after Spain’s soccer federation said it would stand by Mr. Rubiales, who has insisted he did nothing wrong to Ms. Hermoso, and threatened legal action to protect the reputation of its president.
Mr. Rubiales’s kiss at the Women’s World Cup medals ceremony last weekend in Australia — broadcast live to millions — cast a pall over the Spanish team’s celebrations, drawing attention away from a proud national moment and toward a legacy of sexism scandals in Spanish soccer. Ms. Hermoso said she had never consented to the kiss but had faced pressure to publicly back Mr. Rubiales initially and downplay his actions.
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