Rubiales summoned to testify in Spain court over Hermoso kiss
Former Spanish Football Federation [RFEF] president Luis Rubiales has been summoned to testify at Spain’s National Court on Friday on charges of sexual assault and coercion.
Prosecutors filed a lawsuit against Rubiales — who resigned from his position as president on Sunday — last week following his unsolicited kiss on Spain forward Jennifer Hermoso’s lips after last month’s Women’s World Cup final.
A judge agreed to take on the case on Monday and, on Tuesday, called for Rubiales to appear in court as a defendant in person on Friday.
In addition to the sexual assault charges, Rubiales is facing coercion charges for putting pressure on Hermoso and her relatives to say that she justified and approved what happened, according to the prosecutors’ report.
Rubiales, who was already serving a 90-day suspension from his position imposed by world football’s governing body, also stepped down from his role as UEFA vice president.
His resignation came three weeks after his conduct marred Spain’s World Cup final win against England and sparked multiple investigations into his behaviour. FIFA, Spain’s top sports court (TAD) and now the National Court have all opened cases.
In addition to the kiss on Hermoso, he has also been condemned for grabbing his crotch, hugging and kissing other players and throwing another over his shoulder.
Following his initial refusal to step down, 81 current and former Spain women’s team internationals announced they would not play for the national team again under the current regime.
In his resignation letter on Sunday, Rubiales said he would continue to fight to prove his innocence and suggested he was quitting only to avoid further negative repercussions for Spanish football and the RFEF, noting they are currently bidding to co-host the 2030 Men’s World Cup.
Hermoso has said the kiss was not consensual and that she felt vulnerable and the victim of an aggressive act, later pressing charges alongside Spanish prosecutors.
Rubiales continues to maintain there was consent.
“My intentions were noble, enthusiastic, 100% non-sexual, 100%, I repeat, 100%,” the ousted president told Piers Morgan in an interview due to air later on Tuesday.
“There was no harm, no sexual content, no aggression, nothing like that. The significance of the kiss to Jenni would have been exactly the same as a kiss to one of my daughters.
“Under no circumstance was there any aggression and under no circumstance was there any sexual content.
“I want to say that, Piers, again, I made a mistake, I apologise, but let’s be clear, under no circumstance is this sexual aggression.”
Spain’s World Cup-winning coach Jorge Vilda has also lost his job as interim RFEF president Pedro Rocha reacts to the fallout by making structural changes at the Federation.
Montse Tomé, Vilda’s former assistant, has been appointed as his replacement. She is due to name her first squad on Friday for UEFA Nations League fixtures later this month against Sweden and Switzerland.
For now, the 81 players remain unavailable for selection, but sources have told ESPN they have had dialogue with the RFEF in recent days to discuss the terms of a possible return.