Spanish prosecutors accuse Luis Rubiales of sexual assault and coercion

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Spanish prosecutors accuse Luis Rubiales of sexual assault and coercion

The president of the Spanish Football Federation, suspended by FIFA, kissed Jenni Hermoso during the medal ceremony after Spain defeated England in the World Cup final on August 20 in Sydney, Australia.

Prosecutors filed the lawsuit against Rubiales in the National Court in Madrid, two days after Hermoso formally accused him of sexual assault.

FIFA suspended Rubiales on August 27 after he refused to resign during a general hearing of the federation in a defiant speech in which he said he had been the victim of a “witch hunt” by “fake feminists.”

Rubiales was suspended for 90 days while FIFA disciplinary judges review the case. The world football governing body can impose sanctions on individuals, ranging from a warning to fines and even suspensions.

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Under a law passed last year that takes sexual consent into account, Rubiales could face a fine or a prison sentence of one to four years if convicted.

In their statement on Friday, prosecutors said that the then head of Spanish football may have committed coercion when, according to Hermoso, he pressured them to come to his defense immediately after the scandal surrounding his behavior broke out.

Rubiales has insisted the kiss was consensual, which Hermoso has denied.

Prosecutors have asked the judge to have Rubiales appear in court to make a preliminary statement.

If the national court agrees to handle the case, a formal judicial investigation is initiated, which ends with a recommendation to close the case or with the opening of proceedings.

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Hermoso, a 33-year-old striker, plays for Pachuca of Mexico after a long career with clubs in Europe and Spain, including Barcelona, ​​​​Paris Saint-Germain and Atlético de Madrid. He returned to his Mexican club on Thursday.

Rubiales also faces action from the Spanish government. The sports court opened an investigation to determine whether he abused his authority by kissing Hermoso or whether his behavior damaged Spain’s image. They could declare him unfit for office for up to two years.

Spanish players have warned that they will not play with the national team until there are changes in the association. The Spanish Football Federation has fired coach Jorge Vilda, but the players have not indicated whether this is enough.

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These allegations against Rubiales came as the Spanish women’s league is set to go on strike on matchday one after talks with the league over her salaries failed.