Luis Rubiales to stand trial over World Cup kiss

Source: BBC

The former head of the Spanish football federation, Luis Rubiales, will stand trial for sexual assault over his unsolicited kissing of Women’s World Cup player Jenni Hermoso.

The kiss, which Ms Hermoso said was “unwanted”, happened at last year’s 1-0 World Cup against England and made global headlines.

Mr Rubiales was forced to resign but has denied any wrongdoing.

A Spanish High Court judge said on Wednesday Mr Rubiales was also facing one charge of coercion.

The scandal overshadowed a historic moment for Spain’s women’s team, which at the time was celebrating its first ever World Cup win on 20 August 2023.

During the trophy presentation ceremony, Mr Rubiales clasped Ms Hermoso’s head between his hands and planted a kiss on her lips.

It was broadcast to billions worldwide, producing a fierce backlash and national debate over sexism in Spain.

Mr Rubiales, 46, has strenuously denied wrongdoing, saying the kiss was consensual and he was the victim of a “social assassination”.

However, Ms Hermoso and her teammates said it had been unwanted and demeaning.

Mr Rubiales faces one count of sexual assault, which carries a prison term of a year.

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