Spain's Jenni Hermoso files legal complaint against Luis Rubiales over unsolicited kiss


FOOTBALL Spain's Jenni Hermoso files legal complaint against Luis Rubiales over unsolicited kiss

Festus Chuma 20:00 - 06.09.2023

Spanish soccer star Jenni Hermoso has filed a criminal complaint against football federation boss Luis Rubiales for an unsolicited kiss after a Women's World Cup victory.

Spanish soccer star Jenni Hermoso has taken legal action against Luis Rubiales, the president of Spain's football federation, over an unsolicited kiss during the 2023 Women's World Cup. 

The national prosecutor's office confirmed the filing of a criminal complaint, adding that it will be processed as soon as possible.

This development could have serious implications for Rubiales, who is already facing an ongoing inquiry by Spain's top sport court for serious misconduct and an investigation by FIFA, which has provisionally suspended him from office for 90 days.

The incident in question occurred during the medal-giving ceremony following Spain's 1-0 victory over England in the Women's World Cup final on August 20. Rubiales grabbed Hermoso's head and kissed her on the lips, an action that has since ignited a firestorm of controversy.

Late last month, the prosecutor for Spain's High Court indicated that Rubiales could potentially face a sexual assault charge, carrying a prison term of one to four years, if Hermoso, who resides and plays in Mexico, chose to file a complaint. 

The High Court holds jurisdiction over the case since the incident took place abroad, in Sydney, Australia.

Hermoso, in her testimony, expressed her discomfort, stating that she did not want to be kissed and that she felt vulnerable and a victim of aggression." In contrast, Rubiales has maintained that the kiss was spontaneous, mutual, euphoric, and consensual."

The controversy surrounding Rubiales's behavior has generated outrage both in Spain and abroad. His actions extended beyond the kiss, as he was seen grabbing his crotch while standing near Spain's Queen Letizia and her 16-year-old daughter during the final.

Even the Spanish men's soccer team did not mince words, publicly criticizing their country's soccer boss for his "unacceptable behavior." 

However, this unity was marred when Real Madrid defender Dani Carvajal, one of the team's captains, appeared to question Hermoso's status as a victim during an interview with Spanish radio Onda Cero.

"There are legal bodies that are considering whether Jennifer is really a victim of something that is being investigated. There are people who have to decide whether there is an offender and a victim,” Carvajal as per Reuters.

Unbeknownst to Carvajal, Hermoso had already met with prosecutors and filed a criminal complaint earlier in the day.

In an attempt to clarify his remarks, Carvajal held a press conference, where he extended his support to both Hermoso and Rubiales. 

"I can understand that Jenni is going through a bad time, and we have to show my solidarity. However, I don't think the president is having a good time either. I am not here to judge anyone," Carvajal stated. 

Amidst the escalating controversy, Spain's women's team coach, Jorge Vilda, who is known to be a close ally of Rubiales, was removed from his position. 

The Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) subsequently announced the appointment of Montse Tome as his successor, making her the first woman to manage the national side.