Prosecutors seek jail time for Luis Rubiales over World Cup kiss incident

Prosecutor Marta Durantez has charged four men, including former head of Spain’s football federation Luis Rubiales, with sexual assault and coercion for a non-consensual kiss. The incident occurred after Spain’s World Cup victory, when Rubiales kissed female footballer Jenni Hermoso without her consent. All four men could face jail time if convicted.

Durantez is seeking €100,000 in damages for Hermoso, with Rubiales responsible for at least half of this amount. She has also requested a restraining order against Rubiales, preventing him from coming within 200m of Hermoso and contacting her for the next seven-and-a-half years. The scandal led to Rubiales’ suspension by Fifa and his subsequent resignation from both the Spanish football federation and Uefa in September.

The incident overshadowed the historic achievement of Spain’s women’s team, which had won its first ever World Cup at the time. Rubiales’ behavior during the trophy presentation, including the unwanted kiss and inappropriate gestures, sparked global outrage over sexism in women’s sports. The scandal prompted calls for changes in women’s football in Spain, with players boycotting national team events.

Rubiales’ actions have brought attention to issues of sexism and misconduct in sports, emphasizing the importance of respecting boundaries and consent in all aspects of the game. His resignation was a step towards addressing these issues and promoting a more inclusive and respectful culture in football.

By Samantha Johnson

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