Prosecutors seek jail time for Luis Rubiales over World Cup kiss incident

Jail Time for Rubiales and Co-Defendants in Spain’s Sexism Scandal: A Closer Look

In September, former head of Spain’s football federation Luis Rubiales was charged with sexual assault and coercion for non-consensual kissing of female footballer Jenni Hermoso following the country’s World Cup victory. Prosecutor Marta Durantez is seeking a two-and-a-half year jail term for Rubiales, with potential jail terms of one year and one-and-a-half years for four other men involved in the incident. The charges stem from an investigation into Rubiales’ behavior during the trophy presentation and subsequent events, which sparked global outrage over sexism in women’s sports.

Hermoso and her teammates stated that the kiss was unwelcome and offensive, leading to charges against Rubiales. Despite denying any wrongdoing, Rubiales was forced to resign from his position due to public pressure. The incident overshadowed Spain’s historic achievement of winning its first ever World Cup at the time.

Durantez also accused Jorge Vilda, Albert Luque, and Ruben Rivera of coercing Hermoso into claiming the kiss was consensual. If convicted, all three men could face up to 18 months in jail. In addition to damages, Durantez has requested a restraining order against Rubiales preventing him from coming within 200m of Hermoso and contacting her for the next seven-and-a-half years. The scandal led to Rubiales’ suspension by Fifa and his subsequent resignation from both Spanish football federation and Uefa.

The incident prompted calls for changes in women’s football in Spain, with players boycotting national team events. It brought attention to issues of sexism and misconduct in sports, emphasizing the importance of respecting boundaries and consent in all aspects of the game.

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