Rubiales appears in court over Women’s World Cup kiss

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The immediate past head of Spain’s football federation, Luis Rubiales has appeared in a Madrid court to answer a criminal complaint over kissing Spanish player Jenni Hermoso.

Rubiales did not say anything as he walked into the national court to face accusations of sexual assault and coercion, days after resigning his position, according to BBC.

The court will decide whether the case goes to trial after the 46-year-old has insisted he had the Hermoso’s consent as she celebrated Spain winning the Women’s World Cup.

Spanish state prosecutors have formally lodged a criminal complaint against the former president of the football federation (RFEF), which will be heard by Judge Francisco de Jorge.

Spain won the Women’s World Cup in Australia on 20 August, but the team’s victory has been overshadowed ever since by Rubiales’s actions during the celebrations after the final whistle.

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He has maintained that the action of kissing the footballer in celebration of the victory in Australia was both mutual and consensual.

The 33-year-old Hermoso, however, said the kiss was not consensual.

Prosecutors submitted her initial complaint of sexual assault and added one of coercion, arguing that he had put pressure on Spain forward to come to his defence amid uproar in the days after the kiss.

Spain’s left-wing government reformed laws on consent in the past two years after a notorious gang-rape case in 2016 that led to five men being cleared of rape.

Under the so-called “Only Yes is Yes” law, Rubiales could face a fine or even a jail sentence if the case goes to trial and he is found guilty of sexual assault.

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