Kissing FA Boss Stands Trial

Jennifer Hermoso is embraced by Luis Rubiales after they won the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup


The former head of the Spanish football federation, Luis Rubiales, will stand trial for sexual assault over his kissing of Women’s World Cup player Jenni Hermoso without her consent.

The kiss, which Ms Hermoso and her team-mates said was unwanted and demeaning, happened at last year’s 1-0 World Cup win against England and made global headlines.

Rubiales was forced to resign but has denied any wrongdoing.

A Spanish High Court judge said on Wednesday Rubiales was also facing one charge of coercion.

The scandal overshadowed a historic moment for Spain’s women’s team, which at the time was celebrating its first ever World Cup win on August 20, 2023.

During the trophy presentation ceremony, Rubiales clasped Ms Hermoso’s head between his hands and planted a kiss on her lips.

It was broadcast to billions worldwide, producing a fierce backlash and national debate over sexism in Spain.

Rubiales, 46, has strenuously denied wrongdoing, saying the kiss was consensual and he was the victim of a “social assassination”.

However, Ms Hermoso has said it was both “unexpected and at no time consensual”.

Mr Rubiales faces one count of sexual assault, which carries a prison term of a year.

He will also be tried for coercion alongside the former coach of the women’s national team, Jorge Vilda, the team’s current sporting director, Albert Luque, and the federation’s head of marketing, Ruben Rivera.

All four men, who have denied wrongdoing, are accused of trying to pressure Ms Hermoso into saying the kiss was consensual.