Luis Rubiales could face prison over his forced kiss

The ousted Spanish Football Association (FA) chief, Luis Rubiales, who found himself embroiled in controversy after forcibly kissing a Women's World Cup champion, could potentially face a lengthy prison sentence of two-and-a-half years, according to prosecutors.

The disgraced Rubiales might also be ordered to pay £85,000 in compensation to his victim, Jenni Hermoso if found guilty of sexual assault and orchestrating a cover-up of the infamous "Kissgate" incident.

These demands surfaced in a detailed six-page indictment disclosed recently, shedding light on the ongoing repercussions of Rubiales' actions at the previous year's World Cup Final held in Australia.

Prosecutors argue that Rubiales' inappropriate behaviour, broadcast globally, constitutes sexual assault, warranting a one-year imprisonment. Additionally, they seek an additional one-year and six-month sentence for "coercion" stemming from his alleged efforts to manipulate Hermoso, 33, into defending him.

Judge Francisco de Jorge, based in Madrid, earlier recommended Rubiales face criminal charges, citing substantial evidence unearthed during his extensive investigation into the matter.

De Jorge, after conducting separate closed-door interviews with both Rubiales and Hermoso, remarked, "The investigation has uncovered compelling evidence suggesting the kiss was not consensual and was an unexpected and unilateral action on Rubiales' part."

Furthermore, the judge proposed that former Spain women's team manager Jorge Vilda, men's team director Albert Luque, and former FA marketing director Ruben Rivera should also stand trial for allegedly pressuring Hermoso.

In his written verdict, De Jorge outlined his belief that there was sufficient evidence to formally accuse all three individuals of collaborating to coerce Hermoso. He noted Rubiales and his cohorts' attempts to sway Hermoso into recording a video asserting the kiss was consensual.

Prosecutors have articulated their intent to seek one-year-and-six-month prison terms for Vilda, Luque, and Rivera if found guilty of coercion.

Hermoso, now playing for the Mexican club Tigres, initiated the investigation by complaining Rubiales last September, condemning the unsolicited kiss as a sexist act that left her feeling vulnerable, contrary to Rubiales' claim of it being merely "a peck."

In response to the mounting allegations, defiant yet resolute, Rubiales declared, "I will defend my honour and innocence. I maintain faith in the truth and the future."

Meanwhile, Rubiales faces a separate inquiry into alleged corruption surrounding a multi-million euro deal involving the relocation of the Spanish Super Cup to Saudi Arabia. Although residing in the Dominican Republic, Rubiales has pledged to return to Spain to confront these allegations.

Recent developments saw authorities executing raids on multiple locations across Spain, resulting in the arrest of six individuals in connection with the Saudi Arabia Cup probe. While Rubiales' property was searched, he evaded arrest as he was out of the country during the operation.

As the investigation unfolds, Rubiales remains one of the five individuals officially under scrutiny by authorities, with ongoing efforts by police and Europol detectives expected to yield further arrests and revelations.