Former Spanish football president to stand trial for 'non-consensual' kiss.

A Spanish judge has suggested that the former president of the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEA), Luis Rubiales, should stand trial for forcibly kissing Spain international Jenny Hermoso after Spain won the Women's World Cup. It was "non-consensual and a unilateral and unexpected gesture", the investigation concluded.

The former president of the Spanish Football Federation, Luis Rubiales, faces charges of sexual assault and coercion after a Spanish judge suggested he should be tried for forcing a kiss on Women's World Cup star Jenni Hermoso. Both offenses are punishable by imprisonment. However, depending on the severity of the offence, the Spanish penal code allows for the sentences to be reduced to fines.

The verdict follows a preliminary investigation led by Judge Francisco de Jorge of Spain's Audiencia Nacional. He concluded that the kiss was "not consensual and was a unilateral and unexpected gesture" by Rubiales. The kiss took place during the awards ceremony following the Women's World Cup. Spain won the tournament.

The judge is also proposing that three other people be tried for pressuring Hermoso, 33, "to make a public statement confirming that the kiss was consensual". Former women's coach Jorge Vilda, men's director Albert Luque and RFEF marketing director Rubén Rivera.

The incident took place on 20 August in front of the cameras after Spain had beaten England to win the Women's World Cup final in Australia. Rubiales was seen holding Hermoso's head with both hands and forcibly kissing her on the lips. Hermoso has insisted it was not a consensual kiss, despite Rubiales describing it as such.

Former president Rubiales celebrates the Women's World Cup gold medal with some of the players. GETTY IMAGES
Former president Rubiales celebrates the Women's World Cup gold medal with some of the players. GETTY IMAGES

The judge wrote that "the question of whether the aim was erotic or not, and the excitement of an extraordinary sporting triumph, are elements whose legal consequences will have to be examined in court". But he also said that a kiss on the lips "touches on the sphere of intimacy that is reserved for sexual relations, esoecially when it is between two adults".

The other three people who allegedly persuaded Hermoso to publicly confirm that the kiss was consensual after it happened are also mentioned in the judge's ruling. He said he had found evidence of a "concerted effort" by Vilda, Luque and Rivera, in agreement with Rubiales, "to persuade Jennifer Hermoso and get her to agree to make a video saying that the kiss was consensual". 

Such actions "could constitute a criminal offence in relation to the main offence" attributed to Rubiales, regardless of the fact that it may be a minor offence in its own right.

Hermoso filed a complaint against Rubiales, 46, in September and told the judge earlier this month that she had been pressured into defending him both on the flight back from Australia and on a subsequent holiday to Ibiza in the Balearic Islands. Her testimony, in which she acknowledged that she had suffered "constant harassment from the parties under investigation which has disrupted her normal life and caused her anxiety and distress", was crucial in the judge's proposal to close the investigation. 

Jenny Hermoso, after winning the Football World Cup with Spain. 'X'
Jenny Hermoso, after winning the Football World Cup with Spain. 'X'

Numerous other witnesses have given evidente to the judge about the pressure Hermoso has been under. They include Ballon d'Or winner Alexia Putellas and two other Spanish teammates.

The FIFA Appeal Committee upheld the disqualification of Luis Rubiales.

It was also announced on Friday that the FIFA Appeal Committee has ruled on the appeal lodged by Luis Rubiales, the former president of the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF), against the decision of the FIFA Disciplinary Committee to ban him from all football-related activities for three years.

The Appeal Committee "decided to dismiss the appeal and uphold the sanction imposed on Mr Rubiales," according to a FIFA statement. Among other things, the Appeal Committee confirmed that Mr Rubiales' conduct during the final of the FIFA Women's World Cup and at the end of the tournament was contrary to the principles set out in article 13 of the FIFA Disciplinary Code.

In accordance with the relevant articles of the FIFA Disciplinary Code, Mr. Rubiales has ten days in which to request a reasoned decision. If requested, the decision will be published on The decision may be appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.