Hermoso files legal complaint over Rubiales kiss

 

President of the Royal Spanish Football Federation Luis Rubiales (R) kisses Jennifer Hermoso of Spain (L) during the medal ceremony of FIFA Women's World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023 Final match between Spain and England at Stadium Australia on August 20, 2023 in Sydney, Australia.

Jenni Hermoso has filed a legal complaint over the kiss by Spanish football federation president Luis Rubiales.

Rubiales kissed Hermoso on the lips after Spain's World Cup final win, which she says was not consensual.

Rubiales claims the kiss was "mutual and "consensual", but has been provisionally suspended by football's world governing body Fifa.

The complaint means the 46-year-old could face criminal charges.

On 29 August, Spanish prosecutors opened a preliminary investigation into whether the incident amounts to a crime of sexual assault.

At the time, Spain's top criminal court said it was opening its investigation in light of the "unequivocal nature" of 33-year-old Hermoso's statements, saying it was necessary "to determine their legal significance".

"Given the public statements made by Jennifer Hermoso, the sexual act she was subjected to by Luis Rubiales was not consensual," a statement said.

It added that legal experts would also contact her "to offer her the option of legal action, giving her the chance to contact National Court prosecutors within 15 days for information about her rights as a victim of an alleged sexual assault should she wish to file a complaint".

The statement added: "In order to proceed with a case for sexual assault, harassment or sexual abuse, it will be necessary for the injured party or their legal representative to file suit, or the public prosecutors' office."

It is reported Hermoso filed her complaint on Tuesday.

Rubiales, who prior to the kiss had been seen grabbing his crotch while celebrating Spain's 1-0 win over England, has repeatedly refused to resign from his position.

On Friday, Spain's national sports tribunal (TAD) opened a misconduct case against him, ruling he had committed a "serious offence" by kissing Hermoso.

However, the TAD stopped short of the "very serious offence" the government had requested which would have led to his suspension.

Some 81 Spain players, including all 23 World Cup winners, have said they will not play for the team again while Rubiales is in charge.

They are due to play in Uefa Nations League qualifying later this month, with fixtures against Sweden and Switzerland on 22 and 26 September.

On Tuesday, Spain's World Cup-winning head coach Jorge Vilda - considered a close ally of Rubiales - was sacked, with Montse Tome named as his successor.

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