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Former Spanish football chief Luis Rubiales may face 2.5 years in jail for non-consensual kiss


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Prosecutors have sought a two-and-a-half-year prison sentence against former Spanish Football Federation chief Luis Rubiales after he kissed World Cup winner Jenni Hermoso on the lips, without her consent. 

The disgraced ex-federation chief faces charges of sexual assault and coercion for his ‘kissing’ act, performed during the final of FIFA Women’s World Cup on 20 August 2023. 

According to a report in DW, the prosecutors want Rubiales to pay $108,000 in compensation to Hermoso. Additionally, they have demanded that Rubiales be specifically disqualified from working in the sporting field and prohibited from communicating with Hermoso and approaching her within a radius of 200 metres for four years. 

The FIFA Disciplinary Committee last year banned Luis from all football-related activities at national and international levels for three years, having found that he acted in breach of Article 13 of the FIFA Disciplinary Code. 

“This case relates to the events that occurred during the final of the Fifa Women’s World Cup on 20 August 2023, for which Mr Rubiales had been provisionally suspended for an initial period of 90 days. Mr Rubiales has been notified of the terms of the Fifa Disciplinary Committee’s decision today,” read the statement. 

The governing body for football said it was absolutely committed to “respecting and protecting the integrity of all people and ensuring that the basic rules of decent conduct are upheld”. 

I wasn’t respected: Hermoso

After the incident, Hermoso said the incident had left her “vulnerable and a victim of aggression”. She described Rubiales’ kiss as a sexist and impulsive act which had no consent from her side.

“Simply put I was not respected,” she added. 

Despite strong public backlash, Rubiales had initially refused to resign from his position, before succumbing to the pressure. He also claimed the kiss was consensual and vowed to defend his innocence. 

“I have faith in the truth and I will do everything in my power so that it prevails,” he said. 

The incident overshadowed what was a historic World Cup win for the Spanish side in Australia.

(With inputs from agencies)

Abhinav Singh

Football. Geopolitics. Cricket. Music. F1. In no particular order.

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