A preliminary investigation into the Spanish Football Federation president, Luis Rubiales, has been opened in Spain’s top criminal court.
Prosecutors are looking into whether his kiss on Jenni Hermoso after the Women’s World Cup final amounts to a crime of sexual assault.
Rubiales kissed Hermoso during the celebrations of their World Cup victory, leading to a storm in the days sinceTWITTER:@SHESCORESBANGERS
The 46-year-old has been widely criticised for the incident after Spain beat England with Hermoso later saying the kiss was not consensual.
Rubiales was suspended by FIFA for 90 days on Saturday, a day after he vowed not to resign.
The court said it was opening the investigation in light of the ‘unequivocal nature’ of Hermoso’s statements, saying it was necessary ‘to determine their legal significance’.
“Given the public statements made by Jennifer Hermoso, the sexual act she was subjected to by Luis Rubiales was not consensual,” a statement said.
Hermoso will be offered the option of legal action and will have the chance to contact National Court prosecutors within 15 days for information about her rights as a victim of an alleged sexual assault should she wish to file a complaint.
The statement added: “In order to proceed with a case for sexual assault, harassment or sexual abuse, it will be necessary for the injured party or their legal representative to file suit, or the public prosecutors’ office.”
The Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) has called on regional federations to an ‘extraordinary and urgent’ meeting on Monday “to evaluate the situation in which the federation finds itself”.
Rubialies, the RFEF and its officials and employees have been ordered not to attempt to contact Hermoso, who the RFEF had threatened with legal action earlier on Saturday.
Rubiales insisted he would not be resigning in a passionate speech on Friday
It was reported on Monday that Rubiales’ mother, Angeles Bejar, has locked herself in a church in Motril on the Spanish south coast – where Rubiales was raised – and has also gone on hunger strike because of the ‘inhuman hunt’ against him.
“They are doing with my son with something he does not deserve,” she said. “He is incapable of hurting anyone.”
As well as kissing Hermoso, Rubiales has come under fire for a string of inappropriate moments at the World Cup final.
He was spotted grabbing his crotch in the company of Queen Letizia and her teenage daughter as Spain beat England.
Many have shown solidarity with Hermoso in light of the incident
And on the pitch, he was seen parading on the pitch carrying Spanish players over his shoulder.
Spain women’s coaching staff all resigned in protest over Rubiales and his actions, leaving Jorge Vilda standing on his own.