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According to reports from Spain, the president of the Spanish Football Federation, Luis Rubiales, will resign on Friday after he severely criticized his behavior at the World Cup final in Sydney on Sunday.

Rubiales’ expected retirement comes a day after FIFA launched disciplinary proceedings against the 46-year-old for grabbing his crotch in celebration of Spain’s victory over England and then kissing Spain midfielder Jenni Hermoso on the lips during the trophy celebration.

FIFA said in a statement released on Thursday afternoon: “The FIFA Disciplinary Committee has today informed Luis Rubiales, President of the Spanish Football Federation, that it is initiating disciplinary proceedings against him as a result of the events that took place during the FIFA Women’s World Cup Final ™ on August 20, 2023.”

The FIFA statement further states: “The events may constitute violations of article 13 paragraphs 1 and 2 of the FIFA Disciplinary Code.”

“The FIFA Disciplinary Committee will not provide any further information on this disciplinary proceeding until it has made a final decision on the matter.

“FIFA reiterates its unwavering commitment to respecting the integrity of all people and strongly condemns any conduct to the contrary.”

The sections of the Disciplinary Code referred to in the FIFA Statement deal with “offensive behavior and breaches of the principles of fair play”.

The Code provides examples of conduct that could result in disciplinary action, including “insulting any person or entity in any way, particularly through the use of offensive gestures, signs or language” and “conduct that is detrimental to the sport of football”. /or bring FIFA into disrepute”.

Rubiales issued a video apology for the Hermoso kiss on Monday, but Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez called the apology “insufficient”.

The Spanish Football Federation on Friday convened an extraordinary general assembly in response to the matter, while confirming that it had opened an internal procedure.

Rubiales is UEFA vice-president and a member of the ruling executive committee and the PA news agency understands that should Rubiales be sacked, the Spanish FA could ask UEFA for the right to nominate a replacement.

Should FIFA suspend him, Rubiales’ seat in the ExCo would remain vacant until the next UEFA Congress, when a replacement would be chosen.

FIFA proceedings could also hamper Spain’s bid to co-host the 2030 men’s World Cup, which Rubiales is helping to oversee.

Spain is bidding to take part in the centenary celebrations alongside Portugal, Ukraine and Morocco. The decision on the host is to be made at an extraordinary FIFA Congress in the last quarter of next year.

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