Spanish soccer star Jenni Hermoso has lodged a criminal complaint over the unsolicited kiss by football federation boss Luis Rubiales after Spain’s victory in the Women’s World Cup.
Hermoso gave her testimony on Tuesday and the complaint will be processed “as soon as possible”, Spain’s national prosecutor’s office said on Wednesday.
With the complaint, Rubiales could face criminal charges in addition to the ongoing inquiry by Spain’s top sport court for “serious misconduct” and an investigation by world soccer governing body FIFA, which has provisionally suspended Rubiales from office.
Neither Hermoso’s representatives nor Rubiales were immediately available for comment.
Rubiales grabbed Hermoso’s head and kissed her on the lips during the medal-giving ceremony that followed Spain’s 1-0 victory over England in the Women’s World Cup final in Sydney on August 20.
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.
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”.
Rubiales’ behaviour has sparked outrage in Spain and abroad. He also grabbed his crotch while standing close to Spain’s Queen Letizia and her 16-year-old daughter during the final match.
Meanwhile, Jorge Vilda said he felt it was “unfair” for him to be sacked as Spain’s women’s team coach after winning the World Cup in the fallout from the Rubiales scandal.
Vilda was the only member of the women’s national team coaching set-up not to resign in protest at the behaviour of Rubiales at the end of the World Cup final, but the Spanish football federation (RFEF) confirmed his dismissal on Tuesday afternoon.
The former head coach was seen applauding Rubiales at an emergency RFEF general assembly when he announced on August 25 he would not resign over his actions in Sydney.
In an interview with Spanish radio network Cadena SER following his dismissal, Vilda defended his record with the team.
“In sporting terms, I am going to accept all the criticisms, but on a personal level I think it has been unfair,” Vilda said.
“It has been a special year. Nothing has ever been said directly, but indirectly things have been said that do not suit me. Things have been said that are not true.
“After everything I have achieved, of working hard as just another worker, I have a clear conscience.
“I have given 100 per cent and I don’t understand it – I didn’t see my dismissal as deserved.”