September 12 – Former Spanish football boss Luis Rubiales will testify on Friday at Spain’s National Court on charges of sexual assault and coercion after he resigned from his role at the weekend following his unsolicited kiss on Spain forward Jennifer Hermoso’s lips during the Women’s World Cup final trophy presentation.
On Monday, Spain’s National Court admitted a complaint by Spanish prosecutors against Rubiales for “the crimes of sexual assault and coercion”.
The coercion charge is for putting pressure on Hermoso and her relatives to say that she justified and approved what happened, according to the prosecutors’ report.
In a press release issued by the court, judge Luis Francisco de Jorge said: “It is agreed that the testimony will be heard, in the context of being a suspect, with legal assistance, of LUIS MANUEL RUBIALES BÉJAR next Friday, September 15, at 12 p.m. [local time] … before this central court of investigation.”
After a storm of protest and criticism, Rubiales stepped down from his position on Sunday, but defiantly stating that he would clear his name.
He will no longer serve as UEFA vice president. The Spaniard had already been suspended for 90 days by world federation FIFA. Spain’s top sports court (TAD) also opened a case.
In an interview with Piers Morgan, to be aired on Tuesday, he said: “I want to say that, Piers, again, I made a mistake, I apologise, but let’s be clear, under no circumstance is this sexual aggression.”
Following his initial refusal to step down, 80 current and former Spain women’s team internationals, including the entire World Cup winning squad, announced they would not play for the national team again under the current regime. Spain’s women’s national team is due back in action on September 22 in the UEFA Nation’s League but there is no clarity yet if the players will recommit to the team.
In the aftermath of Rubiales’ kiss, interim RFEF president Pedro Rocha fired Jorge Vilda from his position as head coach of the women’s national team, replacing him with Montse Tomé. The national sports court has also demanded more structural changes in the Spanish game.
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