About

Luis Rubiales could face a criminal trial over non-consensual kiss

Share
A Spanish judge has called for Luis Rubiales, the country’s former soccer boss, to face a criminal trial, following an incident at the Women’s World Cup last year.
luis rubiales criminal trial

A Spanish judge has called for Luis Rubiales, the country’s former soccer boss, to face a criminal trial, following an incident at the Women’s World Cup last year.

Rubiales is accused of kissing Spanish player Jenni Hermoso without her consent after her team won the World Cup in Sydney.

The judge also recommended authorities lay charges against three other officials from Spain’s football federation, including the former coach of the women’s team.

Here’s what you need to know.

The kiss

Spain defeated England 1-0 to win the FIFA Women’s World Cup in Sydney on 20 August.

Rubiales is accused of forcefully kissing Hermoso during a medal ceremony after the game. She filed a legal complaint, alleging sexual assault and coercion.

Her complaint was escalated to Spain’s national high court. An inquiry was launched to determine if Rubiales should face trial.

Backlash

The kiss sparked calls for Rubiales to resign, with a player boycott and widespread protests described as Spanish football’s #MeToo moment.

On 11 September, Rubiales officially resigned as head of the Spanish Football Federation.

Football’s global governing body, FIFA, later banned him from the sport for three years.

Rubiales has repeatedly denied the allegations against him.

High court

During its pre-trial inquiry, the court heard from witnesses including Hermoso. She said the kiss was “unexpected” and she didn’t have time to react.

Hermoso added that Rubiales and senior officials such as her former coach Jorge Vilda had “persistently” pressured and threatened her to publicly say the kiss was consensual.

A judge described Rubiales’ actions as overshadowing “the euphoria” of Hermoso’s World Cup victory.

Criminal case

The judge found “sufficient evidence” for criminal trials against Rubiales and three soccer officials, including Vilda, over allegedly pressuring Hermoso to support Rubiales after the kiss.

Spanish Prosecutors have 10 days to decide whether they will move forward with the judge’s recommendation that Rubiales face court.

Vilda – Hermoso’s former coach who was fired in the wake of the kiss – has already submitted an appeal to the court.

Become smarter in three minutes

Get the daily email that makes reading the news actually enjoyable. Stay informed, for free.

Be the smart friend in your group chat

Join thousands of young Aussies and get our 5 min daily newsletter on what matters in your world.

It’s easy. It’s trustworthy. It’s free.