JENNI Hermoso has filed a legal complaint over the kiss by Spanish football federation president Luis Rubiales.
Rubiales kissed Hermoso on the lips after Spain’s World Cup final win, which she says was not consensual.
Rubiales claims the kiss was “mutual and “consensual”, but has been provisionally suspended by football’s world governing body Fifa.
The complaint means the 46-year-old could face criminal charges.
A statement from the national prosecutor’s office said: “Jennifer Hermoso filed an express complaint for the facts that you all know.
“The national court’s prosecutor’s office will file a complaint as soon as possible. The statement took place at the state attorney general’s office to protect the privacy of the victim.”
On 29 August, Spanish prosecutors opened a preliminary investigation into whether the incident amounts to a crime of sexual assault.
At the time, Spain’s top criminal court said it was opening its investigation in light of the “unequivocal nature” of 33-year-old Hermoso’s statements, saying it was necessary “to determine their legal significance”.
“Given the public statements made by Jennifer Hermoso, the sexual act she was subjected to by Luis Rubiales was not consensual,” a statement said.
It added that legal experts would also contact her “to offer her the option of legal action, giving her the chance to contact National Court prosecutors within 15 days for information about her rights as a victim of an alleged sexual assault should she wish to file a complaint”.
The statement added: “In order to proceed with a case for sexual assault, harassment or sexual abuse, it will be necessary for the injured party or their legal representative to file suit, or the public prosecutors’ office.”
It is reported Hermoso filed her complaint on Tuesday.
Rubiales, who prior to the kiss had been seen grabbing his crotch while celebrating Spain’s 1-0 win over England, has repeatedly refused to resign from his position.
On Friday, Spain’s national sports tribunal (TAD) opened a misconduct case against him, ruling he had committed a “serious offence” by kissing Hermoso.
However, the TAD stopped short of the “very serious offence” the government had requested which would have led to his suspension.
Some 81 Spain players, including all 23 World Cup winners, have said they will not play for the team again while Rubiales is in charge.
They are due to play in Uefa Nations League qualifying later this month, with fixtures against Sweden and Switzerland on 22 and 26 September.
On Tuesday, Spain’s World Cup-winning head coach Jorge Vilda – considered a close ally of Rubiales – was sacked, with Montse Tome named as his successor.
The Spanish men’s team criticised Rubiales on Monday for his “unacceptable behaviour”.
However, Spain and Real Madrid defender Dani Carvajal was criticised for then saying he would not judge whether Hermoso was a victim or not until the legal process was completed.
Speaking in an interview with Spanish radio Onda Cero on Tuesday, he said: “There are legal bodies that are considering whether Jennifer is really a victim of something that is being investigated.
“There are people who have to decide whether there is an offender and a victim.”
Attempting to explain his comments on Wednesday, Carvajal said that “Rubiales should be supported in the same way as Jenni Hermoso” in this process.
He added: “I can understand that Jenni is going through a bad time, we have to show my solidarity. However, I don’t think the president is having a good time either. I am not here to judge anyone.
“The presumption of innocence is a constitutional right. You cannot victimise or blame anyone.”
Former Spain defender Sergio Ramos described Rubiales’ behaviour as unacceptable.
“As the president of the federation and a representative of Spanish soccer, I think he’s mistaken,” he said.
“I think instead of talking about the whole Rubiales issue which has taken over, we should instead – and I’ll take the opportunity now to once again congratulate the women’s squad who are world champions and this after we did it in 2010.
“But in 2023 what everyone should be talking about is that the women’s squad are world champions. So, I want to send my sincere congratulations. And I hope soccer has the representatives it deserves.” — BBCsport.