By Emma Pinedo MADRID (Reuters) – Former Spanish soccer federation president Luis Rubiales, who caused a furore when he grabbed player Jenni Hermoso’s head and kissed her on the lips following Spain’s victory at the Women’s World Cup on Aug. 20, faces at least three legal and administrative challenges. Hermoso says that she did not […]
Explainer-The proceedings Spanish ex-soccer chief Luis Rubiales could face
By Emma Pinedo
MADRID (Reuters) – Former Spanish soccer federation president Luis Rubiales, who caused a furore when he grabbed player Jenni Hermoso’s head and kissed her on the lips following Spain’s victory at the Women’s World Cup on Aug. 20, faces at least three legal and administrative challenges.
Hermoso says that she did not want to be kissed and that she felt “vulnerable and victim of an aggression”.
After weeks of resisting calls to step down as president of the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF), Rubiales finally quit on Sept. 10.
He maintains the Hermoso kiss was “spontaneous, mutual, euphoric and consensual”.
SPANISH CRIMINAL PROCEEDINGS
Rubiales appeared before a High Court judge on Friday over a complaint of sexual assault and coercion stemming from the allegedly unsolicited kiss.
Prosecutor Marta Durantez Gil filed the complaint after Hermoso said she and her relatives were put under pressure by Rubiales and his entourage to say that she “justified and approved what happened”.
Judge Francisco de Jorge, who on Friday imposed a restraining order to prevent Rubiales from approaching Hermoso, will hear and examine evidence before deciding whether to bring formal charges and advance the case to trial.
Sexual assault carries a prison term of between one and four years.
WHAT IS FIFA DOING?
Rubiales had been provisionally suspended for three months from all football-related activities by world soccer governing body FIFA since Aug. 26.
Two days before that its Disciplinary Committee opened proceedings based on article 13 in its code which deals with “offensive behaviour” by players and officials, particularly with “violating the basic rules of decent conduct” and “behaving in a way that brings the sport into disrepute”.
Rubiales said he would use the investigation to show his innocence.
WHAT ELSE ARE THE SPANISH AUTHORITIES DOING?
The Spanish government has strongly condemned Rubiales’ actions.
On Sept. 1, the Sport Administrative Court (TAD), an independent body of the state-run National Sports Council (CSD), opened a case against Rubiales for “serious” misconduct after receiving complaints from several organisations including Spain’s women’s football league for alleged abuse of authority and “public acts that violate sporting dignity or decorum”.
As the penal proceedings are focused on sexual assault and the administrative proceedings concern all of his behaviour at the final – including him grabbing his crotch in celebration while standing next to Queen Letizia and 16-year-old Princess Sofia – both cases could go on in parallel, a CSD source said.
The TAD could also suspend its proceedings while the penal case is open, the source added.
Spain’s sports law states that if someone is found to have engaged in misconduct they could be disqualified from holding office in a sporting body for several years or even disqualified for life in the case of repeat offences and depending on how serious they are.
Reaching a ruling could take several months as it involves analysing all the documentation and allegations from the parties.
(Reporting by Emma Pinedo, additional reporting by Rohith Nair in Bangalore; Editing by Andrei Khalip and Hugh Lawson)