Spain player Jenni Hermoso has filed a criminal complaint over suspended football chief Luis Rubiales’s kiss on her lips at the Women’s World Cup final, a source at Spain’s public prosecutors office said Wednesday.
The complaint, which was filed on Tuesday, is key for a preliminary investigation, which prosecutors at Spain’s top criminal court have opened for the alleged crime of “sexual assault”, to move forward.
Spanish football federation (RFEF) president Rubiales sparked a worldwide backlash after forcibly kissing Hermoso during the medal ceremony following Spain’s triumph in Sydney on August 20.
Hermoso later said the unwanted kiss had left her feeling “vulnerable and like the victim of an assault”, with a statement on social media describing it as “an impulsive, macho act, out of place and with no type of consent on my part”.
Rubiales insists the kiss was consensual.
The National Court said last week it was opening the preliminary probe in light of the “unequivocal nature” of Hermoso’s statements, saying it was necessary “to determine their legal significance”.
World football governing body FIFA provisionally suspended Rubiales for 90 days after he refused to resign from his post.
Some 81 players went on strike from the women’s side in protest after the 46-year-old’s fierce defensive speech following the incident, in which he railed against “false feminism”.
The RFEF sacked Spain women’s coach Jorge Vilda on Tuesday in the wake of the scandal.
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