Jenni Hermoso accuses Spanish soccer president Luis Rubiales of sexual assault

09:08 08.09.2023

Spanish state prosecutors have filed a lawsuit against Luis Rubiales, the suspended president of the Spanish soccer federation, for sexual assault and coercion. The lawsuit comes after Rubiales kissed player Jenni Hermoso on the lips without her consent during the awards ceremony after Spain's victory in the Women's World Cup final. The incident occurred on August 20 in Sydney, Australia. Rubiales has dismissed the accusations, calling it a "witch hunt" by "false feminists" and claiming that the kiss was consensual, a claim which Hermoso has directly refuted.

Hermoso accused Rubiales earlier this week of sexual assault and stated that she felt pressured by the federation to show support for Rubiales after the incident. The prosecutors' office in Madrid has said that Rubiales could face a fine or a prison sentence of one to four years if found guilty, according to a sexual consent law passed last year. The law eliminated the difference between "sexual harassment" and "sexual assault," making any unconsented sexual act punishable.

Rubiales has refused to resign despite multiple ongoing investigations into his conduct. He was suspended from his post by FIFA on August 27 after delivering a defiant speech to the general assembly of his federation. The Spanish government has also opened a probe to determine if Rubiales abused his authority or tainted the image of Spain with his conduct. He could be deemed unfit to hold his post for up to two years.

The backlash against Rubiales has had significant consequences for Spanish soccer. Spain's women's team, led by coach Jorge Vilda, won the World Cup but have refused to play again for Spain until Rubiales steps down. Vilda was fired by the federation, which also saw its interim president Pedro Rocha apologize for Rubiales' behavior and assert that it does not represent the values of Spanish society.

The accusations against Rubiales represent a major challenge to his presidency and could lead to a criminal case. The prosecutor's office in Madrid has formally received Hermoso's complaint and will process it as soon as possible. Rubiales faces potential criminal charges and could be sanctioned by FIFA. The Spanish government and players' unions have expressed support for Hermoso and called for Rubiales to resign. The incident has also sparked a larger conversation about sexism and misogyny in Spanish soccer, with many players and analysts highlighting systemic issues within the sport.

/ Friday, September 8, 2023, 9:08 AM /

All rights to the materials belong to the sources indicated under the heading of each news and their authors.