Spain football star Jenni Hermoso has filed a criminal complaint against the suspended President of the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF), Luis Rubiales, for kissing her without her consent after Spain won the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup in Australia last month. The complaint, which was lodged on Tuesday, allows the prosecutors to launch a preliminary investigation on possible charges of sexual assault.
Rubiales sparked controversy after kissing Hermoso during the medal ceremony following Spain’s triumph in Sydney on August 20. The World Cup winner later said the unwanted kiss had left her feeling “vulnerable and like the victim of an assault”, with a statement on social media describing it as “an impulsive, macho act, out of place, and with no type of consent on my part”.
A source at the national prosecutor’s office has confirmed the complaint, and Hermoso gave her testimony on Tuesday. The complaint will be processed "as soon as possible", the prosecutor added.
With the complaint, the Spanish FA President could face criminal charges in addition to the ongoing inquiry by Spain’s top sport court for “serious misconduct” and an investigation by world soccer governing body FIFA, which has provisionally suspended Rubiales from office. Neither Jenni Hermoso’s representatives nor Rubiales have publicly commented on the procedure.
Late last month, the prosecutor for Spain's High Court said Rubiales could face a sexual assault charge, which carries a prison term of between one and four years, if Hermoso were to file a complaint. The High Court has jurisdiction over the case as the incident took place abroad - in Sydney, Australia.
The incident has led to a significant fallout within the Spanish and global football communities. The entire World Cup-winning squad, along with other professionals, declared they would no longer play for the national side under the current leadership. High-profile figures within the game, including Barcelona manager Xavi Hernandez and former Barcelona midfielder Andres Iniesta, have condemned Rubiales' actions.