Spanish soccer star Jenni Hermoso formally accused her nation’s embattled federation chief, Luis Rubiales, of sexual assault for kissing her on the lips following Spain’s Women’s World Cup win, authorities said Wednesday.
Spanish prosecutors announced last week that they had opened an investigation of Rubiales and asked Hermoso to contact the office within 15 days to report herself as a possible victim of sexual aggression by the federation president, officials said.
She made the accusation on Tuesday, the prosecutor’s office said.
Rubiales, the Spanish soccer federation president who has been suspended by FIFA, has been widely criticized for the kiss, which happened after Spain’s history making 1-0 win over England in the title match.
He put his hand on both sides of Hermoso’s head and pulled her in for a kiss on the mouth during the medal ceremony on Aug. 20 in Australia.
Rubiales has said the celebratory kiss was consensual, which Hermoso has denied.
The kiss has had widespread impact, quickly turning Spain’s national celebration of a first-time title into serious conversation about the country’s deeply-rooted patriarchal norms.
Jorge Vilda, the coach who led Spain the sport’s most prized trophy, had initially supported Rubiales before eventually voicing criticism of the federation boss.
This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.