Spanish football star Jenni Hermoso files official complaint against Luis Rubiales over ‘non consensual’ kiss

Spanish football federation boss Luis Rubiales kisses Jenni Hermoso on the lips without her consent during the World Cup final

Football star Jenni Hermoso has filed an official complaint against the president of the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) Luis Rubiales after he controversially kissed her at the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup final.

Spain’s victory against England’s Lionesses on 20 August was overshadowed by contention when Rubiales was caught on camera celebrating the win by kissing Hermoso on the lips.

While Rubiales has argued that he was the victim of a witch hunt and that the kiss was the “same I could give one of my daughters”, players, fans, and activists have spoken out against his “unacceptable” actions, and pointed out that Rubiales was unlikely to have planted the same kiss on a male player.

An investigation into Rubiales’ actions was opened by Spanish prosecutors on 28 August, including a pledge to contact Germoso to “inform her of her rights as a victim of an alleged crime of sexual aggression.”

Spanish football federation president Luis Rubiales has accused World Cup winner Jenni Hermoso of lying about not consenting to being kissed at the Women's World Cup final.
Spanish football federation president Luis Rubiales is now being investigated by Spanish prosecutors. (Getty Images)

Prosecutors have now confirmed that Hermoso’s complaint was filed on Tuesday (5 September), marking the next step in a legal case against Rubiales, who refused to quit as president of the RFEF but has been suspended from football-related duties for 90 days.

 “The statement was made at the office of the state attorney general to protect the privacy of the victim,” a spokesperson for the prosecutor’s office told CNN.

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While Rubiales has since issued an apology and claimed that the kiss between him and Hermoso was “mutual”, the footballer has disagreed, claiming she was “not respected.”

In an Instagram live video taken shortly after Spain’s World Cup victory, Hermoso said of the kiss: “Hey, I didn’t like it, eh.”

Days later, she took to social media to speak out against Rubiales.

She said: “I feel the need to report this incident because I believe no person, in any work, sports or social setting should be a victim of these types of non-consensual behaviours,” she wrote. 

“I felt vulnerable and a victim of impulsive-driven, sexist, out-of-place act, without any consent on my part. Quite simply, I was not respected.”

It was this statement that prompted officials to launch an investigation to “look into the facts, which could constitute an offence of sexual assault.”

The court said it was opening the investigation in light of the “unequivocal nature” of Hermoso’s statements, adding it was necessary to “determine their legal significance”. 

“Given the public statements made by Jennifer Hermoso, the sexual act she was subjected to by Rubiales was not consensual,” a court statement said.

While more than 80 Spanish football players refused to represent their country again until Rubiales steps down, England’s Lionesses have publicly stood by Hermoso and pledged their support for her as the controversy unfolds.

Players in the National Women’s Soccer League in the US also showed their solidarity by wearing armbands that read “Contigo, Jenni”, which translates as: “With you, Jenni”.

Spanish prime minister Pedro Sánchez also weighed in on the incident and described Rubiales’ conduct as “unacceptable”

Sánchez said he didn’t believe Rubiales’ apologies were “adequate” and said the head of the Spanish Football Federation needed to “continue to take steps to clarify what we all saw”.

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