Luis Rubiales to appear in court on Friday over Jenni Hermoso kiss

Rubiales, 46, has been summoned by a high court judge in Madrid to respond to accusations of sexual assault and coercion

Luis Rubiales has been summoned by a high court judge in Madrid to respond to accusations of sexual assault and coercion. Reuters
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Former Spanish Football Federation president Luis Rubiales has been summoned to appear in a Madrid court on Friday over his kiss of Spain forward Jenni Hermoso.

World Cup-winning Hermoso, 33, filed a legal complaint last week saying the kiss following her country's Women's World Cup final win over England on August 20 was not consensual.

Rubiales, 46, has been summoned by a high court judge to respond to accusations of sexual assault and coercion.

Rubiales, who stepped down as head of the RFEF on Sunday, has claimed the kiss was "mutual" and "consensual" and again defended his actions in an interview with Piers Morgan, which was aired on Tuesday on Talk TV.

"What we had is a spontaneous act, a mutual act, an act that both consented to, which was driven by the emotion of the moment, the happiness, so I maintain that that is the truth of what happened," Rubiales told Piers Morgan Uncensored.

Rubiales described the kiss as "non-sexual", having previously compared his behaviour to how he would act with his daughters.

"My intentions were noble, enthusiastic, 100 per cent non-sexual, 100 per cent, I repeat, 100 per cent," said Rubiales.

The former federation chief, who was provisionally suspended by Fifa before he resigned, said the kiss occurred in a moment of jubilation.

"You can imagine if you win the lottery or hopefully soon one day the war in the Ukraine finishes, I mean celebrations will go on up and down the globe," said Rubiales.

"People don't ask permissions, it's just a happy, happy time and people celebrate."

However, Rubiales reiterated that he had asked permission for the kiss, which he described as "a peck", and accepted that as president of the federation, the act was wrong.

"Of course, I have said it from the beginning, I made a mistake, and I apologised in a sincere manner," he said.

"A president can give a hug, but needs to act in a more diplomatic and colder way."

Rubiales faced unprecedented criticism after the kiss following the medal ceremony and his initial refusal to resign.

Over 80 women's players went on strike from the national team and controversial coach Jorge Vilda was sacked.

The former chief said Sunday he was now stepping down to help Spain's 2030 men's World Cup bid. He has also stepped down from his position as a Uefa vice-president.

On Monday, Judge Francisco de Jorge of the National Court accepted Hermoso's complaint and assigned a magistrate to investigate the case.

After completing an investigation, the magistrate will then either make a recommendation for the case to go to trial or be dismissed.

The charge of sexual assault can carry a punishment ranging from a fine to four years in prison under Spanish law.

Updated: September 13, 2023, 5:10 AM