FIFA considered more severe sanctions than the three-year ban it imposed on former Spanish Football Federation president Luis Rubiales, world soccer’s governing body said on Wednesday when it published the written reasons for its decision.
Rubiales was banned for three years from all football-related activities on Oct. 30 after kissing player Jenni Hermoso on the lips, allegedly without consent, following Spain’s Women’s World Cup final win over England in August.
Rubiales was also seen grabbing his crotch in the VIP area after the final, next to the Spain’s Queen Letizia and her 16-year-old daughter.
“The Committee wished to stress that it was tempted to impose more severe sanctions in view of the seriousness and gravity of the incidents at stake as well as of the profound negative impact that the Respondent’s actions had on the image of FIFA, women’s football and women’s sport in general,” FIFA said.
It went on to say that with “strong hesitations” the Disciplinary Committee was satisfied that a three-year ban would serve the necessary deterrent effect.
When FIFA announced the sentence in October, Rubiales said he would appeal and accused FIFA of not giving him the chance to defend himself.
“I will go to the last resort to see that justice is done and that the truth shines through,” he said in a statement via social media.