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Spanish FA President Luis Rubiales Faces Preliminary Probe for Alleged Sexual Abuse Following Non-consensual Kiss Incident


Prosecutors have opened a preliminary sex abuse investigation into Spanish FA president Luis Rubiales after he kissed Spain player Jennifer Hermoso on the lips without her consent.

Spain’s top criminal court is probing whether Rubiales’ actions during the World Cup ‘kiss-gate’ scandal constitute sexual assault. He also grabbed his crotch in the royal box alongside Queen Letizia and her 16-year-old daughter Infanta Sofia.

The 46-year-old grabbed midfielder Hermoso in a tight embrace before kissing her on the mouth in a sudden gesture she said she ‘didn’t like’ after La Roja beat England 1-0 in the Women’s World Cup final on August 20.

Rubiales, who has claimed she consented to the kiss – which Hermoso, 33, denies, has received widespread condemnation in the aftermath of the incident.

Rubiales was suspended by world football’s governing body FIFA on Saturday, one day after he repeatedly refused to resign and blamed ‘false feminists’ for the scandal in a bizarre speech at an emergency meeting of the Spanish FA (RFEF) on Friday.

The Prosecutors’ Office said it has started the investigation because ‘the sexual act was not consented’.

AFP quoted the Spanish national court as saying: ‘Prosecutors from the national court have opened a preliminary investigation to look into the facts, which could constitute an offence of sexual assault’, the statement adding that Hermoso will have the opportunity to submit a lawsuit herself.

The country’s government has urged the Spanish Sports Tribunal (TAD) to suspend Rubiales and there are widespread demands he is sacked, with the entire Spain coaching staff resigning over the issue. The Spanish government also wants him out.

The RFEF’s interim president Pedro Rocha has called an ‘extraordinary and urgent’ meeting on Monday ‘to evaluate the situation in which the federation finds itself’ after Rubiales’ suspension, an RFEF spokesperson said on Sunday.

FIFA opened disciplinary proceedings against Rubiales on Thursday and announced on Saturday he had been suspended for three months from national and international football activities pending an internal investigation after its sexual violence protocol was triggered.

Rubiales’ mother has locked herself inside a church and gone on hunger strike to stop what she calls the ‘inhumane’ treatment of her son.

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