HomeSportsFormer Spanish football boss to face trial for forcing kiss on World...

Former Spanish football boss to face trial for forcing kiss on World Cup star

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Former Spanish soccer president Luis Rubiales will face trial for kissing forward Jenni Hermoso without her consent in the aftermath of Spain’s victory at the women’s World Cup.

Investigative judge Francisco de Jorge ruled that Rubiales’ kiss after the final in Sydney was “unconsented and carried out unilaterally and in a surprising fashion”.

State prosecutors accused Rubiales of sexual assault and of allegedly trying to coerce Hermoso to publicly support him during the public backlash against him.

Despite initially claiming he was the victim of a campaign led by “false feminists,” Rubiales eventually resigned from his post in August. He has denied any wrongdoing.

The judge also ruled that former Spain coach Jorge Vilda, sports director of Spain’s men’s team Albert Luque, and the federation’s former head of marketing Ruben Rivera should be tried for allegedly pressuring Hermoso to defend Rubiales, a step she refused to take.

The trial date is yet to be determined.

Hermoso testified before the investigative judge this month.

The 33-year-old forward, Spain’s all-time leading scorer who plays in the Mexican league, has been widely supported in the country, where many hope the scandal will spur a reckoning with sexism in Spanish sports.

Based on a sexual consent law passed in 2022, Rubiales could face a fine or a prison sentence of one to four years if found guilty, according to the prosecutors’ office in Madrid.

The 46-year-old also grabbed his crotch in a lewd victory gesture near Spain’s Queen Letizia and Princess Sofia during the celebrations, and became a national embarrassment in the days that followed.

Hermoso and her teammates refused to keep playing as long as he was in charge.

They returned to the team only weeks later, when the government mediated an agreement to overhaul the federation’s protocols and give more support to the women’s side.

FIFA banned Rubiales for three years.

His ban will include the men’s 2026 World Cup but will expire before the next women’s tournament in 2027.

Spain’s sports authority also ruled him unfit to hold a post in sports management for three years.

AP

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