Former Spanish football federation (RFEF) president Luis Rubiales has been summoned to court in Madrid to respond to allegations of sexual assault and coercion against him following his unsolicited kiss on Jenni Hermoso after the Women’s World Cup final.
Hermoso filed a legal complaint against Rubiales earlier this month, which has been accepted by a judge in Madrid and has been assigned to a magistrate to investigate and weigh up whether to recommend the case goes to trial or is dropped.
Rubiales will appear before that magistrate in Madrid as part of those proceedings on Friday.
The initial complaint from Hermoso was one of sexual assault, but prosecutors have added coercion relating to alleged pressure from Rubiales and his entourage on the player’s family to say she had been okay with what happened.
In the wake of the kiss, Rubiales had initially apologised but then refused to step down from his position as RFEF president, vowing to fight what he referred to as “persecution” by “false feminism”. He had also claimed the kiss was “spontaneous, mutual and consensual”.
Hermoso responded: “I feel obliged to report that Mr. Luis Rubiales’ words explaining the unfortunate incident are categorically false and part of the manipulative culture that he himself has generated.”
Inexplicably, RFEF threatened Hermoso with legal action, before FIFA suspended Rubiales, Spanish players collectively refused to play for the national and the coaching staff, excluding head coach Jorge Vilda, all resigned in protest and solidarity – Vilda was eventually sacked.
RFEF even tried to get themselves suspended from UEFA, which would have seen all Spanish club and national teams expelled from UEFA competitions, in an effort to save Rubiales. That was rejected.
Eventually, the federation issued an overdue grovelling apology to the “world of football”.
Rubiales has since resigned as RFEF president, but cited the pressure on him to do so rather than any acceptance of doing something wrong as the reason and remains intent on fighting the allegations.
What we know
- Luis Rubiales summoned to Madrid court
- Ex-RFEF president will appear before a magistrate on Friday
- Jenni Hermoso’s complaint was accepted by a judge