Former Spain soccer chief faces 2.5-year prison sentence for kiss, say prosecutors

Prosecutors from the Madrid prosecutor’s office have confirmed that they are seeking a two-and-a-half-year prison sentence for Luis Rubiales, Spain’s former soccer chief. Rubiales may stand trial for a nonconsensual kiss that allegedly took place at the Women’s World Cup last year.

Rubiales planted an unwelcome kiss on Jennifer Hermoso, a Spanish soccer player, during the team’s trophy ceremony after their victory against England on August 20, 2023. The incident was caught on camera and in photographs.

In October 2023, the former president of the Spanish soccer federation received a three-year ban from national and international soccer activities. This decision was made after the organization found that he had violated an article of FIFA’s disciplinary code with the kiss incident.

Prosecutors have confirmed that they are seeking a two-and-a-half-year sentence for Rubiales. They argue that he held Hermoso’s head without her consent and that the nonconsensual kiss had both personal and professional repercussions for the soccer player. Additionally, Rubiales may be subjected to a fine of at least 50,000 euros ($54,000).

Prosecutors have also requested a prohibition for Rubiales from coming within a 200-meter radius of Hermoso, as well as a ban on any form of communication between the two.

Rubiales, who faces charges of sexual assault and coercion, has insisted that the kiss was consensual and vehemently denied any wrongdoing.

The prosecutor’s office has requested a prison sentence of one-and-a-half years for the three former executives. According to the judge, there is a possibility that they may have coerced Hermoso into claiming that the kiss was consensual.

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