Luis Rubiales banned from approaching Jenni Hermoso, the crisis escalates within Spanish football

Former Spanish football boss Luis Rubiales responded on Friday for the first time before a judge to accusations of “sexual assault” brought against him after his forced kiss on player Jenni Hermoso. He was also prohibited from approaching within 200 meters of the world champion.

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The Rubiales affair reaches a new level. The crisis within Spanish football escalated on Friday September 15, with almost all of the world champions demanding that more heads roll at the Federation, the same day when its ex-boss, Luis Rubiales, was seen. forbid him from approaching Jennifer Hermoso, the player he forcibly kissed at the World Cup.

“The changes that have taken place are not enough,” wrote 21 of the 23 world champions in a press release in a text distributed, in particular, by the double Ballon d’Or, Alexia Putellas, on social networks.

“We need radical changes in the management positions” of the Spanish Federation (RFEF), still in the hands of men appointed by Luis Rubiales, they insist in this text, signed in total by 39 players, and published at the same time where the new coach Montse Tomé was to present her list for the matches of September 22 and 26 against Sweden and Switzerland in the Nations League.

In this context, the Federation announced that it would postpone the announcement of this list indefinitely.

The Spanish players therefore condition their return to the selection on the “resignation of the interim president”, Pedro Rocha, on the “restructuring of the organization chart of women’s football” or even on that of the “cabinet of the presidency and the general secretariat” of the ‘instance.

The announcement had the effect of a bombshell while, in recent days, the Federation had been optimistic about the return of the world champions, highlighting the dismissal of the women’s team coach, Jorge Vilda, whose methods were contested, and especially the resignation of Luis Rubiales from his presidency.

“An impulsive and sexist act”

The former boss of Spanish football responded on Friday for the first time before a judge to the accusations of “sexual assault” brought against him for his forced kiss to No. 10 Jennifer Hermoso after the world coronation of the “Roja ” on August 20 in Sydney, which triggered a wave of international indignation.

At the end of the closed-door hearing, the magistrate in charge of the investigation, Francisco de Jorge, prohibited Luis Rubiales from approaching within 200 meters of Jenni Hermoso and from making contact with the attacker, who plays in the Mexican championship.

Dressed in a navy blue suit, the former president of the Federation, aged 46, presented himself at the end of the morning at the Madrid court of the National Audience without making any statements to the dozens of journalists present.

Read alsoIn Spain, the forced kiss affair “showed the response of civil society”

According to a source close to the prosecution, he again denied the accusations before the judge and reiterated that this kiss was consensual. In an interview given to a British journalist and broadcast on Tuesday, he had already described “a reciprocal act”.

It was “nothing other than a moment of happiness, a great joy”, he continued, denying any act with “sexual connotation”: “my intentions were noble, 100% non-sexual, 100%, I repeat 100%. A version contested by Jenni Hermoso, 33, who said she felt “victim (…) of an impulsive and sexist act, inappropriate and without any consent”, and who filed a complaint.

No decision expected immediately

The player’s lawyer, Carla Vall, repeated in court that this “kiss was not consensual” and welcomed that, “thanks to this video, everyone, the whole country, was able to see that ‘there was no consent in any way’.

The magistrate in charge of the case will have to decide, at the end of his investigation, whether or not to refer Luis Rubiales to justice. As its investigation has just begun, no decision is expected in the short term.

Since a recent reform of the Spanish Penal Code, a non-consensual kiss can be considered sexual assault, a criminal category bringing together all types of sexual violence. According to a spokesperson for the prosecution, the penalties incurred by Luis Rubiales range from a fine to four years in prison.

Read alsoForced kiss on Jenny Hermoso: Luis Rubiales suspected of having put pressure on the player

Justice also upheld an offense of coercion, also denied by Luis Rubiales, because, according to the prosecution, “Jenni Hermoso explained that she had been, with those around her, the victim of constant pressure from Mr. Rubiales and his professional circle so that it justifies and approves the facts.

With AFP


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