Luis Rubiales
Luis Rubiales gave a fiery speech in which he shouted that he refused to resign from his post as RFEF chief RFEF via AFP / Eidan RUBIO

Football governing body FIFA has suspended Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) president Luis Rubiales for the next 90 days. The decision comes after FIFA opened disciplinary proceedings on Thursday over the controversy surrounding Rubiales' actions during the Women's World Cup final in Sydney last week.

Rubiales has been under fire for a number of reasons, including grabbing his crotch while celebrating in the stands beside Her Majesty Queen Letizia of Spain and her daughter, Infanta Sofia. However, he has received the most criticism for appearing to forcibly kiss Spain forward Jenni Hermoso on the lips during the awarding ceremony after she received her gold medal.

To be clear, the suspension will be in place temporarily while FIFA investigates the matter. In the meantime, the governing body has forbidden Rubiales and members of the RFEF from contacting Hermoso.

FIFA releases a statement

"The president of the FIFA Disciplinary Committee, Jorge Ivan Palacio (Colombia), using the powers granted by article 51 of the FIFA Disciplinary Code (CDF), has agreed today to provisionally suspend Mr. Luis Rubiales of all soccer-related activities at a national and international level.

"This suspension, which will be effective as of today, extends for an initial period of ninety days, and as long as the disciplinary procedure opened by this Disciplinary Commission against Mr. Luis Rubiales on Thursday, August 24, is processed," read the statement.

It may be remembered that the press was initially briefed that Rubiales would be handing in his resignation on Friday, but were surprised to hear him say that he will not step down. Furthermore, he claimed to be the victim of a "witch-hunt" and "false feminism." He insisted that it was a "consensual peck" on Hermoso, which was "mutual and spontaneous."

RFEF faces boycott amid massive backlash

While Rubiales still has many supporters, the backlash has been overwhelming. The entire coaching staff of the women's national team has quit, except for controversial manager Jorge Vilda. It may be remembered that Vilda survived a mutiny last year but received the full backing of Rubiales, who kept him on despite protests from at least 15 members of the national team squad.

In the immediate aftermath of the World Cup incident, Rubiales sent a lukewarm apology and the RFEF released a statement on behalf of Hermoso, claiming that the kiss was consensual.

She later condemned the RFEF statement, stating that she never gave consent and as seen on her Instagram video from the dressing room, she said that she "did not like it." As a result, all 23 members of Spain's World Cup winning squad have announced a boycott. A total of 81 players have now said that they refuse to suit up for the country until Rubiales has been removed.

Players and managers from men's teams in La Liga have also condemned Rubiales' actions, alongside ordinary football fans from across the globe. Prominent personalities from different industries have also voiced their condemnation of Rubiales' actions, which were witnessed live by millions across the globe.

In the same Instagram Live shared by Hermoso after the awarding ceremony, she said she did not like the kiss but Rubiales later jokingly said that he would be taking the team to Ibiza to celebrate his wedding to Hermoso.

In a statement shared on social media, Hermoso said that she had become "vulnerable and a victim of an impulse-driven, sexist, out-of-place act without any consent on my part."

She reiterated that the statement released by the RFEF on her behalf is false, and at no point did she provide consent for the kiss.

It now remains to be seen if FIFA will sanction Rubiales as well as the RFEF. The fate of manager Vilda is also in the air, especially in light of the current boycott. He may no longer be able to rely on the support of Rubiales, and despite winning on the world's biggest stage, he may also soon be forced to leave his post.