Rubiales says he is being persecuted for being a man

April 5 – Disgraced former Spanish FA boss Luis Rubiales remains defiant in the face of a possible prison sentence and suggests he’s being punished for being a man.

Banned for three years by FIFA, Rubiales has consistently denied he sexually assaulted World Cup winner Jennifer Hermoso by kissing her on the lips unsolicited.

Speaking in a television interview on Wednesday, he again claimed Hermoso had consented to the kiss during the medal ceremony, which was televised globally and overshadowed Spain’s historic first Women’s World Cup win.

Spanish prosecutors are seeking a two-and-a-half year prison sentence for Rubiales but he charged: “For me, there is no crime. That is my opinion, my humble opinion, which I also lived through. I have a clear conscience. A small thing has gone on to devour a person. Is it because I’m a man?”

Rubiales was arrested on Wednesday on his return to Madrid from the Caribbean as part of an unconnected corruption investigation linked to alleged financial irregularities during his time as head of the Spanish FA and focuses on business deals including one to hold the Spanish Super Cup in Saudi Arabia.

Rubiales, who has previously apologised for the kiss, told La Sexta TV there was nothing sexual about his actions and claimed he had asked Hermoso for consent, to which she allegedly replied ‘vale’ — Spanish for ‘OK’.

“Vale so, we gave each other a peck …that is my version,” he said.

“Whoever sees the images, for real, I cannot reach an understanding on how someone can think that is sexual assault.”

He also denied any corruption concerning the lucrative three-year deal agreed by the RFEF with the Saudi sports authority in 2019 to stage the Spanish Super Cup in Saudi Arabia.

“I have never had business in Saudi Arabia,” Rubiales said. “It’s a lie that I have land to build hotels in Saudi Arabia, which is what is being reported.”

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