Spain’s national prosecutor’s office has filed a complaint to the high court from Jenni Hermoso about suspended Spanish football federation president Luis Rubiales.
Rubiales kissed midfielder Hermoso on the lips during the trophy presentation following Spain’s victory over England in last month’s World Cup final, but Hermoso said the kiss was not consensual.
FIFA has suspended Rubiales pending an investigation into his behaviour and while the 46-year-old has refused to resign, Hermoso submitted a complaint to the national prosecutor’s office on Wednesday and that is now with Spain’s high court.
Alongside a complaint of sexual assault by Rubiales, an allegation of coercion was also filed and it will now be down to Spain’s high court to present formal charges against the suspended RFEF president.
The RFEF issued an apology on Tuesday, with current president Pedro Rocha distancing the federation from what Rubiales had done and saying his actions had caused “enormous damage”.
Later the same day the RFEF announced the dismissal of World Cup-winning coach Jorge Vilda.
The 42-year-old had been the only member of Spain women’s backroom staff who had not quit in protest at Rubiales’ refusal to step down. Vilda had also applauded Rubiales at an emergency general assembly of the RFEF on August 25 when the latter said he would not quit.
The RFEF issued a glowing statement in praise of Vilda on Tuesday in confirming his dismissal, but said his exit was the first of a number of “renewal measures” planned by Rocha. Montse Tome was later confirmed as Vilda’s successor.
Concerns over Vilda’s coaching methods and regime were reported to have been a key factor in 15 Spain players refusing to play for the national team last year, but the federation, under Rubiales, refused to budge.
It is not yet clear whether Vilda’s dismissal and Tome’s appointment will be enough to prompt a return to action by Spain’s World Cup-winning squad for the Nations League matches against Sweden and Switzerland later this month.
The 23 players had been part of a group of 81 who had said they would not make themselves available for international duty until Rubiales had resigned.
As well as his conduct towards Hermoso, Rubiales was also criticised for grabbing his crotch in celebration of Spain’s victory while stood in the stadium’s VIP area, metres away from Spain’s Queen Letizia and her teenage daughter.
On August 28, the presidents of the regional Spanish federations called on Rubiales to quit, and in addition to the FIFA investigation, the RFEF regional presidents are working alongside Spain’s Higher Sports Council (CSD) to conduct a thorough review of the federation’s governance.
Last week, the Spanish men’s national team condemned the “unacceptable behaviour” of Rubiales.