The judge believes that Luis Rubiales should be brought to trial for the World Cup kiss.

The judge believes that Luis Rubiales should be brought to trial for the World Cup kiss.

According to a judge from Spain’s highest criminal court, Luis Rubiales should face legal proceedings for the kiss he gave footballer Jenni Hermoso. After a preliminary investigation, the judge determined that Rubiales’ actions were not consensual and were unexpected and one-sided.

The supreme court announced on Thursday that the judge in charge of the investigation, Francisco de Jorge, had recommended that three additional individuals, including previous coach of the women’s team Jorge Vilda, face trial for attempting to coerce Hermoso into publicly stating that the kiss was consensual.

The court ruled that the judge had discovered sufficient evidence to justify a trial, despite his acknowledgement that inquiries regarding the intention behind the action and the potential influence of the extraordinary victory on emotions will need to be further explored in terms of legal implications.

The court stated that prosecutors and lawyers have a period of 10 days to officially request a trial.

Jennifer Hermoso

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The ruling was made five months after Rubiales kissed Hermoso on the lips and grabbed her head during the televised celebrations of Spain’s World Cup victory.

As anger grew worldwide, Rubiales rejected demands for him to step down and instead labeled the action as a “mutually agreed upon kiss.”

Hermoso, 33, who ranks as Spain’s all-time top scorer, rejected any suggestion that the kiss was consensual and characterised Rubiales’ description as “categorically false”.

In September, she submitted a legal accusation against Rubiales, age 46. Shortly after, state prosecutors charged him with sexual assault and coercion.

At that point, the event had sparked a reflection on the presence of sexism in Spanish soccer. Its call to action, “se acabó” or “it’s over”, quickly spread to other areas, initiating a wider discussion about sexism in Spanish culture.

On Thursday, the judge stated in court that Hermoso was not aware of the defendant’s intention to kiss her on the lips and did not give consent for it to happen.

The court noted that there was a “situation of anxiety and intense stress” created for Hermoso by the concerted efforts of Vilda, the director of the men’s team, Albert Luque, and the football federation’s former marketing manager Rubén Rivera. Their goal was to pressure Hermoso into stating that the kiss had been consensual, against her will.

Rubiales could potentially receive a fine or a prison sentence of up to four years if convicted of sexual assault. Despite this, he has consistently maintained his innocence and denies the allegations brought against him. In a statement last year, he declared his belief in the truth and vowed to do everything within his means to ensure justice prevails. This led to his decision to resign from his position as the head of the federation.