Spanish footballer Jenni Hermoso, who won the World Cup, provided testimony to a court in Madrid stating that a kiss she had from former football federation head Luis Rubiales was “non-consensual”.
Rubiales embraced Ms. Hermoso and planted a kiss on her lips during the World Cup final last year.
A judge will now determine whether Mr. Rubiales should face charges for sexual assault and coercion.
Ms. Hermoso, the leading goal scorer of Spain, provided testimony to the court for around two and a half hours. According to Spanish media, she informed the judge that the kiss was “unexpected and never consensual.”
The evidence she presented was reported to have restated the testimony she had given to authorities several months before, which was subsequently leaked to Spanish TV.
The court is scrutinising evidence, including CCTV footage, to determine whether to proceed with her criminal accusation of sexual assault and coercion to trial.
The kiss occurred during the medal ceremony in Sydney on 20 August of the previous year, subsequent to Spain’s victory against England.
A statement released promptly after the conclusion, which was credited to Ms. Hermoso, had affirmed that the kiss had been consensual. However, she subsequently expressed dissatisfaction with the coercive tactics employed by officials from the Spanish football organisation, who urged her to endorse the statement.
Mr. Rubiales is under investigation for potential coercion for his involvement in the alleged exertion of pressure on Ms. Hermoso.
Ms. Hermoso explicitly expressed her refusal to receive a kiss and conveyed her perception of being a “victim of assault”. According to Spanish legislation, a kiss without obtaining consent can be seen as a type of sexual assault.