Spanish footballer Jenni Hermoso has testified in court over the kiss she claims ex-football federation chief Luis Rubiales gave without her consent after Spain’s victory in the Women’s World Cup last summer.
Hermoso spoke at a Madrid court behind closed doors to a judge who is examining evidence including television footage before deciding whether to approve the charges and advance the case to trial.
Judge Francisco de Jorge is also hearing evidence from other World Cup-winning players, coaches and federation officials before making a decision.
As Hermoso left the court, she said: “All is in the hands of justice, that’s all I can say… the process will take its course.”
Based on a sexual consent law passed last year – which eliminates the difference between sexual harassment and assault – Rubiales could face a fine or a prison sentence of one to four years if found guilty, according to the prosecutors’ office in Madrid.
The 33-year-old Spanish forward filed a criminal complaint of sexual assault and coercion in September over the kiss which took place as players collected their medals following the 1-0 win over England in the final in Sydney.
The fallout from the incident led to a boycott of Spanish players of both the women’s and men’s national teams.
The case shook the sporting world and sparked protests in Spain and beyond demanding “a sport free of sexist violence”.
Rubiales eventually resigned as president of the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) on 10 September and was subsequently banned from all football-related activities for three years until after the men’s 2026 World Cup.
The head coach of the Spanish women’s football team, Jorge Vilda, was also sacked after the incident.
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Hermoso has repeatedly said the kiss was not consensual and that she felt “vulnerable and a victim of aggression”.
Rubiales, 46, has always denied any wrongdoing and claimed the player consented to a “peck”.
Following his resignation, the former chief attributed the kiss to “great joy” without “sexual connotation”, adding the act was “normal in our country”.
He said if the Spanish men’s team had won the trophy there would be “no doubt about it” – he would have kissed them too.