Home Featured Luis Rubiales: Prosecutors open sex assault probe, while football chiefs now want him out
Luis Rubiales: Prosecutors open sex assault probe, while football chiefs now want him out

Luis Rubiales: Prosecutors open sex assault probe, while football chiefs now want him out

by host

Spain’s National Court on Monday launched a sexual assault investigation into Luis Rubiales, the suspended president of the country’s football federation just as domestic football chiefs turned against him in a marathon meeting.

The office of the court’s prosecutor, which is authorized to investigate crimes committed abroad, launched its probe after receiving several complaints from concerned citizens, according to the Spanish press.

The prosecutor is set to speak with national team player Jenni Hermoso — who Rubiales gave a nonconsensual kiss on the lips to to last Sunday in Australia after the World Cup final — to inform her of her rights as a victim of an alleged crime of sexual assault. Hermoso will need to file a formal complaint as in order for the case to move forward.

The launch of the prosecutor’s investigation coincided with an extraordinary meeting of the executive committee of Spain’s national football federation (RFEF), which consists of Spanish regional federation presidents.

Three days after expressing their support for Rubiales the presidents reversed their positions and demanded his resignation after a lengthy meeting.

The presidents did not take any decision regarding Jorge Vilda, head coach of the country’s national women’s team, who last week applauded Rubiales during a defiant speech in which the Rubiales questioned Hermoso’s credibility and decried the “scourge of false feminism.”

Although Vilda disavowed Rubiales a few hours after world governing body FIFA suspended the Spanish football boss, Vilda’s entire technical team resigned in disgust shortly thereafter. Last week Spain’s World Cup-winning women’s football team stated it would not play under the federation’s current leadership.

Spain’s Administrative Tribunal for Sport, the country’s highest court for issues related to sports law, also held an urgent session Monday to determine whether the complaints against Rubiales constitute a “grave infraction” of the country’s 2022 Sports Law. After numerous hours of debate, the court said it needed more information before deciding the matter.

The issue will be taken up by Spain’s High Council for Sports, which is set to meet Thursday and expected to impose an additional suspension that will last until Spain’s sports court issues a final verdict on the matter.

At a press conference on Monday, the body’s president, Secretary of State for Sport Víctor Francos, said the government was determined to move as quickly as it could to remove the football chief.

He added the council would inform all of Spain’s sports federations they are expected to comply with Spain’s gender balance laws by January 1, 2024, from which date women will need to occupy at least 40 percent of the seats in their governing boards.

At present only six of the Spanish football federation’s 140 members are women, none of whom have a seat in the organization’s executive committee.

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