The kissing scandal in Spanish football is entering the next phase. The investigation into former Spanish football president Luis Rubiales has now begun, with witnesses and experts being heard. On August 20, Luis Rubiales kissed national player Jennifer Hermoso on the mouth at the World Cup awards ceremony in Sydney. According to media reports on Tuesday, a brother and friend of world champion Jennifer Hermoso confirmed that Rubiales had kissed the national player on the mouth against her will at the World Cup awards ceremony.
Both also assured that the player was pressured by Spanish Football Association officials to exonerate Rubiales. Government TV broadcaster RTVE gave this information citing judicial circles.
Investigating judge Franco De Jorge also interviewed two experts in Madrid on Monday who were experts in lip reading. Based on analysis of television images, they determined that Rubiales had asked Hermoso a question before the kiss which was described as “Un besito?” (“A kiss?”) could be interpreted, the newspaper “La Razon” and other Spanish media reported. Since Hermoso stood with her back to the camera, it could not be determined if and how she reacted.
Further hearings are scheduled for Thursday and next Monday, some of which will take place via video conference. Among other things, three players from the world champion team were called up for Monday. According to the media, these are world footballer Alexia Putellas, captain Irene Paredes and Misa Rodriguez.
Rubiales had already been interrogated on 15 September. The judge had ordered that the resigned Spanish football president, 46, would only be allowed within 200 meters of Hermoso and would have no contact with him. Rubiales claims Hermoso agreed to the kiss after the final win over England. But the player reported that she “felt like the victim of an impulsive, lascivious and inappropriate act to which I did not consent.”
Judge DeGeorge will now have to decide in state court whether Rubiales should be put in the dock. According to experts, the accused could be sentenced to up to four years in jail.