World champion Jenni Hermoso welcomed back to training after Rubiales scandal

Spain's World Cup-winning midfielder Jenni Hermoso wears a red and yellow football uniform as she plays during a match

Jenni Hermoso is back on her training in Mexico for the first time since filing a legal complaint against Spanish football president Luis Rubiales for kissing her without consent. 

With Hermoso as captain, Spain beat England in a nail-biting final at the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup final on 20 August.

Yet Spain’s superb win was overshadowed after Rubiales, the president of the Royal Spanish Football Federation, kissed the midfielder on the lips during the trophy presentation. Hermoso has said the kiss happened without her consent. 

Just weeks after the controversy kicked off, Hermoso returned to work with Mexican football club CF Pachuca as they prepared to play in the Apertura tournament on Sunday (10 September).

The club shared multiple pictures of Hermoso training, interacting with teammates and smiling as she was warmly welcomed back onto the field after her World Cup win on Instagram.

“Full of enthusiasm and joy was the return to training of our world champion, Jenni Hermoso,” Pachuca wrote. 

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The football team urged fans to give their “love and appreciation” to Hermoso and all the players as they gear up to play their hearts out against Club Universidad Nacional.

Rubiales refused to resign from his position following the incident and insisted the kiss was consensual. He was suspended from “all football-related activities at national and international level” for an initial period of 90 days by FIFA’s Disciplinary Committee last month. 

Hermoso released a statement, saying she felt “vulnerable and a victim of an impulse-driven, sexist, out of place act without any consent on [her] part”. 

The footballer submitted a complaint to the national prosecutor’s office earlier this week. The prosecutor’s office said Hermoso’s testimony, given Tuesday (5 September), would be processed “as soon as possible”. 

Rubiales could face a fine or between one and four years in prison if found guilty of sexual assault, the Guardian reported. 

Jenni Hermoso hasn’t made any face-to-face statements to the media since the incident, and her team in Mexico said it will support her all the way, Sky Sports reported.  

“For the moment, our player will not appear before the media, as she will be 100 per cent focused on resuming her activities and returning to normality in her day-to-day life,” Pachuca said. “We appreciate your understanding and respect for her privacy.”

The club added that Jenni Hermoso has “all the institutional, emotional and personal support of the Pachuca soccer club to continue her activities in the best way with the Tuzas”.