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By Vicky Wong
BBC News

Spanish prosecutors want the ex-head of the country’s football federation to be jailed for two-and-a-half years after he kissed a female footballer following Spain’s World Cup victory.

Luis Rubiales is facing charges of sexual assault and coercion over a non-consensual kiss on the mouth he gave to Jenni Hermoso last August.

Hermoso and her team mates said the kiss was unwanted and demeaning.

Rubiales was forced to resign, but has denied any wrongdoing.

According to a court document seen by Reuters, prosecutor Marta Durantez charged Rubiales with one count of sexual assault and one of coercion for his alleged actions in the aftermath of the kiss – the offences carry jail terms of one year and one-and-a-half years respectively.

Ms Durantez also accused the former coach of the women’s national team, Jorge Vilda, the team’s current sporting director, Albert Luque, and the federation’s head of marketing, Ruben Rivera, of coercing Hermoso into saying the kiss was consensual.

All three denied wrongdoing when they appeared before the court. Each could face up to 18 months in jail if convicted.

Ms Durantez also wants the four men to pay damages totalling €100,000 (£85,677) to Hermoso, and for Rubiales to pay at least half of this amount.

She also requested a restraining order for Rubiales, barring him from coming within 200m of Hermoso and from communicating with her for the next seven-and-a-half years.

The scandal overshadowed a historic moment for Spain’s women’s team, which at the time was celebrating its first ever World Cup win.

During the trophy presentation ceremony, Rubiales clasped Hermoso’s head between his hands and planted a kiss on her lips.

He was also criticised for grabbing his crotch when celebrating the win, standing next to Spain’s Queen Letizia and her daughter Princess Infanta Sofia.

The incident set off a wave of global anger at sexism at the highest levels of women’s sport and led to boycotts of the national team by Spain’s players as they called for changes to be made to women’s football in the country.

Rubiales was initially suspended by world football’s governing body Fifa, before he eventually stood down as both head of Spain’s football federation and vice-president of Uefa in September.

In January, Fifa upheld a three-year ban from footballing activities for Rubiales after he lodged an appeal.

Vilda – the coach who led the women’s team to their World Cup victory and an ally of Rubiales – was also sacked in September amid the fallout from the scandal, but was appointed head coach for Morocco women’s team in October.

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