Spanish sports court added to list of those investigating kiss-and-run Rubiales

September 4 – Spain’s sports court has agreed to investigate football federation chief and UEFA vice-president Luis Rubiales as the “kiss-gate” scandal intensifies.

The government lodged a complaint against Rubiales through the state-run National Sports Council (CSD) a week ago, accusing Rubiales of “very serious” offences.

But in agreeing to take the case, the Administrative Tribunal for Sport (TAD) said it considered the behaviour in question “serious”, falling short of the government’s characterisation of Rubiales’ actions.

Had the court accepted the “very serious” qualification, it would have allowed the Sports Council to suspend the 46-year-old head of the Spanish football federation (RFEF) for the duration of the case.

Rubiales has already been suspended by FIFA for 90 days while it decides on disciplinary measures after he kissed midfielder Jenni Hermoso on the mouth in the wake of Spain winning the Women’s World Cup final on August 20.

Spain’s top criminal court has also opened a preliminary investigation into the kiss on the grounds it could constitute “sexual assault”, which under Spanish law covers a wide array of offences.

The TAD judgement will be interpreted by Rubiales’ supporters as representing a partial victory for the Spanish football chief who continues to insist he will defend himself in the face of widespread global condemnation.

“I want to send a message to all the good people in our country and beyond our borders, including those women who have really been attacked and who have my full support and understanding: this is not about gender, it is about truth,” said Rubiales in a weekend newspaper article.

He also criticised politicians for giving their opinions.

“I am particularly concerned that some of those who should proclaim and contribute to ensuring the separation of powers in our country are determined to take part and exert pressure against me, instead of allowing justice to act … while remaining impartial.”

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