Luis Rubiales faces jail time for unsolicited World Cup kiss

Former president of the Spanish football federation Luis Rubiales could spend years in prison.

Former president of the Spanish football federation Luis Rubiales could spend years in prison. Photo: Getty

Disgraced former Spanish soccer boss Luis Rubiales could face two years in prison for his unsolicited kiss of world cup-winning footballer Jenni Hermoso.

Rubiales planted the kiss on Hermoso – without getting her consent – in the minutes after Spain’s victory over England in the Women’s World Cup in Sydney last year.

The moment was broadcast to millions as part of the awards ceremony for the final and sparked instant outrage around the world. Hermoso has since said she did not want to be kissed, and that she felt “vulnerable and a victim of an aggression”.

Now, according to reports from Reuters, Spain’s High Court is pursuing a 2½-year prison sentence for Rubiales. He has been charged with one count of sexual assault and one count of coercion.

Additionally, the former coach of Spain’s women’s team, Jorge Vilda, the sporting director of the Spanish federation (RFEF), Albert Luque, and RFEF marketing chief Ruben Rivera have all been accused of coercing Hermoso after the incident.

rubiales hermoso

Luis Rubiales was condemned for kissing Jenni Hermoso without her consent.

Following the kiss, Rubiales, Vilda, Luque and Rivera allegedly tried to pressure Hermoso into defending the former coach. Vilda, Luque and Rivera have denied any wrongdoing, but Reuters reported they could face 18 months in prison.

Prosecutor Marta Durantez accuses the four men of harrassing Hermoso through “constant and repeated acts of pressure”, including through her friends and family.

She has reportedly said Rubiales, Vilda, Luque and Rivera should pay Hermoso thousands of Euros in damages.

Durantez also wants Rubiales subject to a restraining order, which would prevent him from coming within 200 metres of Hermoso or communicating with her for the next 7½ years.

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 also ruled him unfit to hold a post in sports management for three years.

The World Cup-winning side actually vowed to not represent Spain in the aftermath of the kiss. Their boycott ended only after the RFEF promised “immediate and profound changes” to its structure.

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