Luis Rubiales To Stand Trial for Kissing Female Football Player

Luis Rubiales, the former president of the Spanish football federation, is set to stand trial for sexual assault following his unsolicited kiss of Women’s World Cup player Jenni Hermoso.

Ms. Hermoso described the kiss as “unwanted,” an incident that occurred during last year’s World Cup 1-0 victory over England and captured global attention. Despite the controversy, Mr. Rubiales, who subsequently resigned, has denied any wrongdoing.

A judge from the Spanish High Court also charged Mr. Rubiales with coercion this Wednesday.

This incident cast a shadow over a monumental achievement for the Spanish women’s team, which was celebrating its first-ever World Cup victory on August 20, 2023.

At the award ceremony, Mr. Rubiales grabbed Ms. Hermoso’s head and kissed her on the lips, an act witnessed by billions and sparking significant outrage and discussions about sexism in Spain.

Mr. Rubiales, aged 46, strongly denies any misconduct, claiming the kiss was mutual and accuses others of “social assassination.”

Nevertheless, Ms. Hermoso and her teammates have stated that the kiss was both uninvited and demeaning.

Mr. Rubiales faces a charge of sexual assault, an offense that could lead to a year in prison.

He is also accused of coercion, along with Jorge Vilda, the former coach, Albert Luque, the current sporting director, and Ruben Rivera, the marketing head of the federation.

The four men, all denying the charges, are accused of pressuring Ms. Hermoso to declare the kiss consensual. If found guilty, they could each face up to 18 months in prison.

The trial is scheduled to be held at the Audiencia Nacional in Madrid, though no date has yet been confirmed.

The court has ordered Mr. Rubiales to post a bail of €65,000 for the sexual assault charge within 24 hours to potentially cover any civil liabilities, as reported by the AFP news agency.

An additional bail of €65,000 is required, to be posted jointly by Mr. Rubiales, Mr. Vilda, Mr. Luque, and Mr. Rivera for the coercion charges.