Spain's National Court Approves Trial of Former Football Federation President Luis Rubiales

Former Spanish FA chief Rubiales faces trial for forcibly kissing player Hermoso at World Cup final, sparking outrage and calls for accountability in Spanish football.

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Salman Khan
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Spain's National Court Approves Trial of Former Football Federation President Luis Rubiales

Spain's National Court Approves Trial of Former Football Federation President Luis Rubiales

Spain's National Court has approved the trial of former Spanish Football Federation president Luis Rubiales for kissing player Jenni Hermoso at the Women's World Cup final in August 2023 and subsequent alleged coercion. Rubiales, 46, kissed Hermoso on the lips as she received her medal after Spain's victory over England. He was charged and investigated, leading to his resignation amid widespread criticism.

Public prosecutors are seeking a 2.5-year prison sentence for Rubiales, who has claimed innocence. The court has rejected appeals by Rubiales and others, finding evidence of crimes against sexual freedom and coercion. Rubiales has accused Hermoso of "false feminism" and claimed he has a "clear conscience."

The court is also set to try former Spain manager Jorge Vilda, sports director Albert Luque, and marketing manager Rubén Rivera in the same process. They are accused of pressuring Hermoso not to file a formal complaint against Rubiales. The Public Prosecutor's Office has requested prison sentences for all four men for the crimes of coercion and sexual assault.

Why this matters: This high-profile case has sparked widespread outrage and calls for accountability in Spanish football. The trial's outcome could have significant implications for addressing issues of abuse of power and sexual misconduct in sports organizations.

Hermoso has denied Rubiales' version of events and stated she was threatened after the accusations. "I felt vulnerable and a victim of an aggression, an impulsive act, sexist, out of place and without any consent on my part," Hermoso said in a statement. The trial is expected to shed light on the alleged actions of Rubiales and the Spanish Football Federation's handling of the incident.

Key Takeaways

  • Spain's ex-football chief Rubiales to face trial for kissing player Hermoso.
  • Prosecutors seek 2.5-year prison sentence for Rubiales, who claims innocence.
  • Former Spain manager, directors also accused of pressuring Hermoso not to complain.
  • Case sparks outrage, could impact addressing abuse of power in sports.
  • Hermoso denies Rubiales' version, says she felt "vulnerable and a victim".