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Ex-Spain football boss to stand trial for sexual assault after World Cup kiss


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Ex-Spain football boss Luis Rubiales is to stand trial for sexual assault after kissing player Jenni Hermoso after Spain’s victory in last year’s women’s World Cup final. 

Rubiales, the former head of the Spanish football federation, kissed Hermoso on the lips after Spain‘s 1-0 win over England on 20 August.

Star forward Hermoso has claimed she did not consent to the kiss. A non-consensual kiss is considered sexual assault under international law.

The incident – seen by audiences around the world – sparked a conversation about sexism in Spain. 46-year-old Rubiales, who was forced to resign following the incident, has denied any wrongdoing.

He faces one count of sexual assault, and, if convicted, faces one year in jail.

MAJADAHONDA, SPAIN - APRIL 29: The Former Spanish FA President Luis Rubiales leaves the Majadahonda courthouse on April 29, 2024 in Madrid, Spain. Rubiales came back from the Dominican Republic April 3rd, where he has lived for two months. Spanish police searched the headquarters of the Spanish Soccer Federation (RFEF) and a property of Rubiales last month as part of an alleged corruption investigation. The operation is part of a wider probe linked to alleged corruption in probe of the Saudi Arabia Super Cup deal. (Photo by David Benito/Getty Images)
Luis Rubiales to stand trial over World Cup kiss.
(David Benito/Getty)

He also faces a charge of coercion, alongside former women’s national team coach Jorge Vilda, the team’s current sporting director, Albert Luque, and the federation’s head of marketing, Ruben Rivera.

All four, who have denied wrongdoing, are accused of trying to pressure Hermoso into saying the kiss was consensual. They could each face up to 18 months in jail if convicted.

The case will take place at the Audiencia Nacional, a high court in Madrid, on a date yet to be set.

The AFP news agency reported the court has set bail at €65,000 (£55,960) on Rubiales’ charge of sexual assault and further bail of €65,000 is to be posted jointly between Rubiales, Vilda, Luque and Rivera on the charges of coercion.

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