Luis Rubiales 'forcefully kissed England player' after World Cup final

By Isaac M December 6, 2023

Disgraced former Spanish football chief Luis Rubiales seemed to “forcefully” kiss England defender Lucy Bronze on her face and stroke teammate Laura Coombs’s face after the Women’s World Cup final, the FA chair has said.

Debbie Hewitt told FIFA investigators Mr Rubiales was also “unpleasant and unnecessarily aggressive” while waiting in the tunnel for the post-match presentations to begin.

Ms Hewitt’s evidence has been released by FIFA as part of the full reasons for banning Mr Rubiales for three years for the enforced kiss on Spain forward Jenni Hermoso after the victory over England at the final in Sydney in August.

FILE - President of Spain's soccer federation, Luis Rubiales, right, hugs Spain's Aitana Bonmati on the podium following Spain's win in the final of Women's World Cup soccer against England at Stadium Australia in Sydney, Australia, Sunday, Aug. 20, 2023. Rubiales has resigned, Sunday, Sept. 10, 2023, from his post after a kiss scandal which tarnished Spain's victory at the Women's World Cup. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino, file)
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Luis Rubiales hugs Spain’s Aitana Bonmati after the final of Women’s World Cup

August 20 2023: Lucy Bronze (England) looks on during a FiFA Womens World Cup Final game, Spain versus England, at Olympic Stadium, Sydney, Australia. Kim Price/CSM (Credit Image: .. Kim Price/Cal Sport Media) (Cal Sport Media via AP Images)
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Lucy Bronze during the Women’s World Cup final. Pic: AP

Mr Rubiales, who resigned in September, told FIFA’s disciplinary committee that Ms Hewitt’s portrayal of him as “some sort of creep” is “absolutely disgusting”.

Concerns grew as the pair of football chiefs were next to each other in the tunnel waiting for the trophy and medals presentation.

Protests in the Plaza Callao in Madrid
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Protests against Luis Rubiales in the Plaza Callao in Madrid

Ms Hewitt told FIFA: “He [Rubiales] appeared unhappy as to where he had been positioned in the line-up.

“FIFA staff (or stewards) told him to remain where placed and stood around us so that the presentation group could make our way to the stage.

“The tone of his voice in response was unpleasant and unnecessarily aggressive.

FA Chair Debbie Hewitt during the Euro 2028 and Euro 2032 hosts announcement ceremony at the UEFA Headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland. The UK and Ireland will host Euro 2028, UEFA has confirmed. Picture date: Tuesday October 10, 2023. PA Photo. See PA story SOCCER Euro 2028. Photo credit should read: Mike Egerton/PA Wire...RESTRICTIONS: Use subject to restrictions. Editorial use only, no commercial use without prior consent from rights holder.
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FA Chair Debbie Hewitt

“The England team came up individually onto the stage. He [Rubiales] shook the hand of every player and touched a few on the arm as they walked past.”

He then “cupped and stroked” the face of the English player Laura Coombs, which [Hewitt] thought was slightly odd and then he “seemingly forcefully kissed the English player Lucy Bronze on her face”.

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