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

In September, Spanish prosecutors charged former football federation chief Luis Rubiales with sexual assault and coercion for kissing female footballer Jenni Hermoso without her consent during a World Cup victory celebration. The incident has overshadowed Spain’s historic achievement of winning its first ever Women’s World Cup, leading to calls for changes in women’s football in the country.

Prosecutor Marta Durantez accused Rubiales of sexual assault and coercion, with potential jail terms of one year and one-and-a-half years respectively. She also accused four other men, including Jorge Vilda, Albert Luque, and Ruben Rivera, of coercing Hermoso into claiming the kiss was consensual. If convicted, all three men could face up to 18 months in jail.

Durantez is seeking €100,000 in damages for Hermoso, with Rubiales responsible for at least half of this amount. In addition to damages, Durantez has requested a restraining order against Rubiales that prevents him from coming within 200m of Hermoso or contacting her for the next seven-and-a-half years.

The incident led to Rubiales’ suspension by Fifa and his subsequent resignation from both the Spanish football federation and Uefa in September. The actions of Rubiales 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.

Spain’s Women’s team boycotted national team events after the incident prompted calls for changes in women’s football in Spain. The scandal has sparked global outrage over sexism in women’s sports, highlighting the need for more accountability and transparency when it comes to issues related to gender equality and misconduct.

By Sophia Gonzalez

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