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Spanish Footballer Jenni Hermoso files complaint over Luis Rubiales kiss at World Cup

The president of the Spanish soccer federation Luis Rubiales (AP)
The president of the Spanish soccer federation Luis Rubiales (AP)

Spanish star Jenni Hermoso has filed a legal complaint over the unsolicited kiss by football federation boss Luis Rubiales following Spain’s win in the Women’s World Cup, the national prosecutor’s office said on Wednesday.

As a result of the complaint, Rubiales could face criminal charges in addition to the ongoing probe by Spain’s top sport court for “serious misconduct” and an investigation by world governing body FIFA.

Rubiales kissed Spain midfielder Hermoso on the lips during the trophy presentation that followed Spain’s 1-0 victory over England in the Women’s World Cup final on August 20, something Hermoso has said she did not consent to.

Rubiales’ behaviour has sparked outrage in Spain and abroad. He also appeared to grab his crotch while standing close to Spain’s Queen Letizia and her 16-year-old daughter during the final match.

Late last month, the prosecutor for Spain’s High Court said Rubiales could face a sexual assault charge, which carries a prison term of between one and four years, if Hermoso were to file a complaint.

The High Court has jurisdiction over the case as the incident took place abroad, in Sydney.

Hermoso said she did not want to be kissed, and that she felt “vulnerable and a victim of an aggression”.

Rubiales, who has so far refused to resign despite heavy pressure, said the kiss was “spontaneous, mutual, euphoric and consensual”.

The 46-year-old has been provisionally barred from all football activity for an initial 90 days by FIFA while it investigates his conduct at last month’s World Cup final.

The RFEF’s current president Pedro Rocha has also written a letter distancing the federation from Rubiales’ actions.

Neither Hermoso’s representatives nor Rubiales were immediately available for comment on Wednesday.