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Rubiales to stand trial for infamous World Cup kiss

A Spanish judge has confirmed ex-national soccer federation president Luis Rubiales will face a sexual assault trial over his post-World Cup final player kiss.

A Spanish judge has confirmed ex-national soccer federation president Luis Rubiales will face a sexual assault trial over his post-World Cup final player kiss. Photo: Getty

Former Spanish soccer federation president Luis Rubiales will stand trial on charges of sexual assault and coercion for kissing forward Jenni Hermoso without her consent after last year’s Women’s World Cup final.

Judge Francisco de Jorge had ruled in January that Rubiales’ kiss was “unconsented and carried out unilaterally and in a surprising fashion” and on Wednesday he confirmed the charges.

Prosecutors seek a prison sentence of two-and-a-half years for Rubiales over the incident and for allegedly trying to coerce Hermoso to publicly support him amid the public backlash following last year’s World Cup decider in Sydney.

The judge also ruled that former Spain coach Jorge Vilda, the sports director of Spain’s men’s team Albert Luque, and the federation’s former head of marketing Ruben Rivera, will also stand trial for trying to pressure Hermoso, Spanish news agency EFE reported.

The judge in January found sufficient evidence to also believe Rubiales unsuccessfully pressured Hermoso to appear in a video he produced and published while public anger grew against him.

A trial date has not been set.

FIFA banned Rubiales for three years, until after the men’s 2026 World Cup.

His ban will expire before the next women’s tournament in 2027.

Spain’s sports authority ruled him unfit to hold a post in sports management for three years.

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