The football executive could face up to four years in prison if found guilty of sexual assault
Prosecutor Marta Durantez Gil has filed a complaint in Spain’s high court against football federation president Luis Rubiales, saying there could be grounds to charge him with sexual assault and coercion related to an allegedly non-consensual kiss on female player Jenni Hermoso last month.
“In her statement, [the player] also stated that she and her immediate family suffered constant and repeated pressure from Luis Rubiales and his professional entourage to justify and approve what happened,” the complaint reads, according to Spanish publication El Pais.
“Hermoso suffered a situation of harassment, one that impeded her from living freely and in peace and tranquility.”
The complaint also requests that the court places Rubiales, 46, under formal investigation to determine whether criminal charges can be brought against the football executive. Earlier this week, the Spanish prosecutor’s office detailed that a sexual assault conviction could lead to a prison term of between one and four years.
Rubiales was widely rebuked for kissing Hermoso on the lips soon after Spain’s Women’s World Cup final win against England in Australia last month. The former player, who has served as the president of the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) since 2019, later said the kiss was consensual – a claim later denied by Hermoso.
The formal complaint to Spain’s high court comes days after Hermoso filed a criminal complaint against Rubiales, accusing him of sexual assault.
Several figures within the RFEF called on Rubiales to resign following the controversy, though he has so far refused to do so. Speaking at an extraordinary general assembly, Rubiales alleged that “a social assassination is taking place.” World football’s governing body FIFA imposed a 90-day suspension on him while it conducts an investigation.
Jorge Vilda – the coach of the victorious Spanish team in Australia last month, who is considered to be a key ally of Rubiales – initially refused to criticize the RFEF president but later condemned his actions. Vilda’s contract was terminated on September 5.
Prior to his sacking, several members of Vilda’s coaching staff resigned and at least 81 female players indicated their refusal to represent the national team as long as Rubiales is associated with it.