Prison Threat Over Hermoso Kiss Is Because I’m a Man - Rubiales

Disgraced former Spanish FA president Luis Rubiales claims he is facing prison time for kissing Jenni Hermoso “because he's a man”.

The 46-year-old sparked controversy at the 2023 Women’s World Cup final when planting a kiss onto the lips of ex-Barcelona star Hermoso as Spain celebrated capturing a global crown. He faces charges of sexual assault as a result of the non consensual clinch, while he is also being accused of coercion following supposed attempts to get Hermoso to speak out in his defence.

Rubiales has told La Sexta of ‘kissgate’ and why he feels unfairly singled out: “I have a clear conscience. Things have become crazy. A small thing has gone on to devour a person. I wanted to be calm and get out of the spotlight. False feminism? What I said is said. I defend egalitarianism. Feminism advocates supporting women to achieve equality. For me there is no crime. It's my opinion. I asked her the question [over the kiss] and she said: 'Okay'. You can't question Hermoso. I can. Is it because I'm a man? They want to curtail freedom of thought.”

Rubiales went on to say: “I cannot understand that anyone could think this was a sexual assault.” He responded to the allegations of coercion by adding that he “only spoke 10 or 15 seconds with Miss Hermoso”.

Rubiales is also at the centre of an unrelated corruption investigation, which led to his arrest when returning to Spain from a visit to the Dominican Republic. He is said to have had his phone and laptop confiscated as part of an investigation by officers from the Civil Guard's Central Operative Unit. Rubiales stands accused of diverting at least £3.24million from the Spanish FA to a construction firm that saw him earn kickbacks through a company owned by a close friend.