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Hermoso gives testimony about Rubiales’s World Cup kiss

Spanish football legend Jenni Hermoso appeared in front of a judge on Tuesday to provide testimony regarding the incident where former Spanish football chief Luis Rubiales kissed her at the Women’s World Cup trophy ceremony.

The 33-year-old arrived at the Audiencia Nacional, Spain’s primary criminal court, dressed in a long grey overcoat, and greeted the press with a smile without making any statements before proceeding to testify before Judge Francisco de Jorge.

Rubiales, who was previously the head of the RFEF football federation and later resigned over the issue, insists that the kiss on Hermoso’s lips after Spain’s World Cup win was consensual, despite her assertion to the contrary, leading her to file a lawsuit. Rubiales is currently under a restraining order that prohibits him from being within 200 meters of Hermoso.

In Spanish law, a non-consensual kiss can be considered sexual assault, which encompasses various forms of sexual violence and can result in penalties ranging from a fine to four years in prison. Apart from the kiss, Rubiales is also accused of coercion for allegedly pressuring Hermoso to justify his actions, which were broadcast globally. The incident caused widespread outrage, leading to his suspension by FIFA, the world football governing body.

Rubiales appeared in court in September, and the judge also questioned three others regarding allegations that they pressured Hermoso: former women’s coach Jorge Vilda, men’s team director Albert Luque, and RFEF marketing chief Ruben Rivera. Additional witnesses, including two-time Ballon d’Or winner Alexia Putellas and two other Spanish teammates, have testified in court regarding the pressure faced by Hermoso.