Former president of the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF), Luis Rubiales, has been handed a three-year ban from all football-related activities following a series of controversial actions at the Women’s World Cup final in August, per Sky Sports.
Rubiales had initially faced a 90-day suspension by FIFA on August 26, intended to protect an ongoing investigation into his conduct during the Women’s World Cup final.
The incident occurred when he kissed Spain star Jennifer Hermoso on the lips during the awards ceremony in Sydney on August 20.
Rubiales further raised eyebrows when he grabbed his crotch in celebration of Spain’s 1-0 victory over England and carried Spain player Athenea del Castillo over his shoulder during the post-match celebrations.
These actions ultimately led to his resignation as the Spanish federation president and his departure from the role of a UEFA vice president on September 10.
Rubiales is also under criminal investigation in Spain, but he vehemently denies any wrongdoing.
Following Rubiales’ departure, former La Liga referee Mateu Lahoz has emerged as the leading contender to become the next president of the RFEF.
Lahoz recently retired from officiating games after around 30 years in the profession.
He has garnered significant support from key figures in Spanish football, including major clubs in the Spanish leagues, the referee community, and FIFA.
His close working relationship with Pier Luigi Collina, the global head of refereeing, as well as the Council Superior of Sports and several territorial presidents, has bolstered his candidacy and placed him in a favourable position to succeed Rubiales.
Interestingly, Rubiales and Lahoz clashed on several matters during their time in charge.
As the RFEF seeks a fresh direction following the Rubiales era, the consensus and approval of these influential figures reflect the growing momentum behind Lahoz’s bid to assume the presidency and shape the future of Spanish football.
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