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Spain coach De La Fuente summoned in Rubiales kiss case

Spain men’s coach Luis de la Fuente was summoned Friday as a witness by the judge investigating former president of the Spanish football federation Luis Rubiales’ forcible kiss and alleged coercion of women’s international Jenni Hermoso.

Judge Francisco de Jorge has called on De la Fuente to appear, as well as the federation’s director of communication, Pablo Garcia Cuervo, and several other staff, judicial sources told AFP.

De La Fuente and Garcia will appear in court on October 20, while others including the women’s team’s psychologist have been summoned for October 27.

The judge of Spain’s top criminal court, is continuing his investigation into Rubiales’ alleged crimes of sexual assault and coercion after he kissed Hermoso on the lips at the medal ceremony in Sydney on August 20, after La Roja won the tournament.

On Wednesday, the judge said Spain’s controversial former women’s coach Jorge Vilda is being investigated as part of the probe into the kiss scandal, along with Albert Luque, director of the men’s national team, and Ruben Rivera, marketing director for the federation.

The court did not clarify precisely the nature of the case surrounding Vilda, who is set to appear in court on October 10, while the judge postponed Luque’s appearance until October 16.

Three players from the women’s team, including two-time Ballon d’Or winner Alexia Putellas, are set to testify on October 2.

Rubiales resigned from his post after worldwide backlash against his actions, making his first appearance in court on September 15.

The judge hit Rubiales with a restraining order, banning him from being within 200 metres of Hermoso.

On Monday, the judge heard testimony from Hermoso’s brother and one of her friends.

Both confirmed Hermoso’s statements that she did not consent to the kiss and had been under pressure to justify Rubiales’ actions.

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