Spanish footballer Jenni Hermoso tells court World Cup kiss was not consensual 

Football president Luis Rubiales kissed the player on the lips when Spain beat England in the tournament final in August.

ITV News’ Ellie Pitt reports from outside the court in Madrid

The Spanish footballer who was kissed on the lips by the country’s football president last summer has appeared in court to testify in the sexual assault case against the official.

Jenni Hermoso was at a court in Madrid on Tuesday to give her version of what happened when Luis Rubiales, the country’s then-football federation president, kissed her after Spain beat England in the final of the Women’s World Cup.

The testimony was delivered behind closed doors, but Ms Hermoso was expected to repeat her allegations that the kiss was nonconsensual, and said “everything went well” when she spoke to reporters afterwards.

Spanish soccer player Jenni Hermoso, left, arriving at the Audiencia Nacional court in Madrid. / Credit: AP

“The judicial process will continue its course, and thanks for the support that many of you had given to me,” she said.

Spanish media said the 33-year-old had asked the judge to keep her court appearance as private as possible.

Spanish state prosecutors accused Rubiales of sexual assault and coercion, alleging he tried to convince Ms Hermoso and her relatives to publicly downplay the kiss.

The kiss sparked international outrage, prompting protests and leading to a series of high-level resignations among Spanish football officials.

It also led to a boycott of the national team by the World Cup-winning players, and to the eventual resignation of Rubiales, despite his repeated claims that the kiss was consensual and that he did nothing wrong.

Rubiales was then given a three-year ban from all football-related activity by FIFA, which he has said he intends to appeal.

Hermoso is the record scorer for Spain’s women’s team, and said last year she had received threats in the fallout from the kiss.

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