(Madrid) The Spanish world champions still refuse to return to the selection, according to their Federation, a new episode in the affair of the forced kiss of Luis Rubiales, who responded Friday for the first time before a judge to the accusations of “aggression sexual” against him.
Despite Rubiales’ recent resignation, “they are not coming back,” a source close to the federation (RFEF) told AFP, without giving further details.
This decision, which had the effect of a bombshell in Spain, comes just a few hours before the announcement, scheduled for 4 p.m. (10 a.m. Eastern time), by new coach Montse Tomé of her list of players for the matches on September 22 and 26 against Sweden and Switzerland in the Nations League.
The Spanish football authorities had, however, displayed their optimism in recent days regarding a return of the world champions, highlighting the resignation on Sunday of Luis Rubiales from the presidency of the federation and the dismissal last week of the coach of the women’s team, Jorge Vilda, close to Rubiales whose methods were contested.
But, according to the Spanish press, this is not yet enough for the players who at the end of August called for “real structural changes”, ensuring that they would not play again as long as the leaders of the federation remained in place.
Eclipsing the world coronation of the women’s “Roja” in Sydney on August 20, Rubiales’ forced kiss to No.10 Jennifer Hermoso, during the medal ceremony, plunged Spanish football into chaos and triggered a wave of protests. international outrage.
Rubiales before the judge
Prosecuted for “sexual assault”, following the complaint of Jenni Hermoso, the former boss of Spanish football, 46, responded on Friday for the first time to these accusations before the judge of the Madrid court of the National Court responsible for the case, Francisco de Jorge.
Coming and leaving on foot with his lawyer, Rubiales, dressed in a navy blue suit, made no statement to the dozens of journalists present.
But, according to a source close to the prosecution, he denied the accusations before the judge, during a closed hearing, and reiterated that this kiss was consensual.
In an interview given to a British journalist and broadcast on Tuesday, Luis Rubiales – who refused to resign for three weeks despite pressure – denied any criminal act.
“It was a reciprocal act,” he assured. It was “nothing other than a moment of happiness, a great joy”, he continued, denying any act with “sexual connotation”: “my intentions were noble, 100% non-sexual, 100 %, I repeat 100%”.
A version contested by Jenni Hermoso, 33, who said she felt “victim (…) of an impulsive and sexist act, inappropriate and without any consent”, and filed a complaint.
No decision immediately
The magistrate responsible for the case will have to decide at the end of his investigation whether or not to refer Luis Rubiales to justice. As its investigation has just begun, no decision is expected in the short term.
The prosecution, for its part, asked the judge that the former boss of Spanish football be prohibited from approaching within 500 meters of Jenni Hermoso, who currently plays in the Mexican championship, and from making contact with her.
Since a recent reform of the Spanish Penal Code, a non-consensual kiss can be considered sexual assault, a criminal category bringing together all types of sexual violence. According to a spokeswoman for the prosecution, the penalties faced by Rubiales, 46, range from a fine to four years in prison.
Justice also upheld an offense of coercion, also denied by Rubiales, because, according to the prosecution, “Jenni Hermoso explained that she had been, with her entourage, the victim of constant pressure from Mr. Rubiales and his entourage professional so that it justifies and approves the facts.