THE DISGRACED former chairman of Spain’s Football Federation, Luis Rubiales, told the National High Court this week that his allegedly unsolicited kiss on the lips of female player Jenni Hermoso at the World Cup on August 20 was consensual and a ‘natural’ ‘show of affection’.
That’s according to sources who were present during his questioning by the court in Madrid, as part of the criminal case against him not just for sexual assault related to the kiss itself, but also for coercion allegations on the basis he is alleged to have pressured Hermoso after the incident to come out and publically back him.
According to online daily El Español, Rubiales was responding to questions from Hermoso’s lawyer when he said that the kiss happened in the context of a ‘completely extraordinary celebration’, and that it took place in front of ‘millions of pairs of eyes’, in reference to the spectators in the stadium and TV viewers at home.
Rubiales also claimed that the kiss had been given ‘with consent’, according to the news report.
This is something that Hermoso has consistently denied since the incident took place.
That day also saw Rubiales widely criticised for grabbing his crotch in celebration when Spain won the World Cup Final match against England 1-0, despite standing just metres from Spanish Queen Letizia and her teenage daughter Sofia.
Rubiales was suspended from his roles by Fifa but did not quit as chairman until weeks had passed since the incident and the pressure on him had risen to unprecedented levels.