Spanish state prosecutors have filed a lawsuit against Luis Rubiales for sexual assault and coercion after he kissed Spain forward Jenni Hermoso on the lips in the wake of last month’s Women’s World Cup final.
Prosecutors presented the suit to Spain’s National Court in Madrid on Friday after Hermoso had earlier this week filed her own legal complaint against Rubiales, having insisted that she did not consent to the kiss.
The Spanish Football Federation president has already been suspended by world football’s governing body FIFA, who are investigating the incident which took place during the trophy presentation after the World Cup final in Sydney on August 20.
As the trophy was being presented to Spain, Rubiales was seen kissing forward Hermoso on the lips and attracted widespread criticism.
Rubiales, who prior to kissing Hermoso was also seen grabbing his crotch while celebrating Spain's 1-0 win over England, has repeatedly refused to resign.
It has led to 81 Spain players, including all 23 World Cup winners, announcing that they will not play for the team again while Rubiales is in charge.
Rubiales is now facing legal action from Spanish state prosecutors and, according to a sexual consent law passed last year, he could face a fine or a prison sentence of one to four years if found guilty of sexual assault.
Rubiales is alleged to have committed an act of coercion when, according to Hermoso, he pressured her to speak out in his defence after the scandal erupted.
Rubiales has insisted the kiss was consensual, but Hermoso has denied that was the case. Prosecutors have asked the judge that Rubiales appear before a court to give preliminary testimony.
If the National Court judge agrees to hear the case, it would lead to a formal court investigation that will end with a recommendation for the case to either be dismissed or go to trial.