Former Spanish soccer federation chief Rubiales will stand trial on charges of sexual assault and coercion for his unsolicited kiss of Jenni Hermoso after last year's Women’s World Cup final, a judge confirmed this week.

Back in January, Judge Francisco de Jorge recommended that Rubiales be held accountable for his 2023 actions, calling the kiss "unconsented and carried out unilaterally and in a surprising fashion" and within the bounds of "intimacy of sexual relations." On Wednesday, Spain’s National Court ruled that Rubiales should indeed stand trial.

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Rubiales has repeatedly denied wrongdoing, saying the kiss was consensual. Hermoso, meanwhile, defined the incident, which occurred during the WWC medal ceremony, as "unexpected and at no time consensual."

Public prosecutors and lawyers for the Spanish Women's National Football Team star and Women's World Cup champion are seeking two and a half years of prison time for Rubiales: one year for sexual assault, and an additional 18 months for participating in coercion.

Rubiales is alleged to have pressured Hermoso into showing support for him following the kiss. Three other officials — including former women's national team head coach Jorge Vilda — are also facing coercion charges that could result in 18 months in prison. 

A trial date has yet to be set. Last October, FIFA banned Rubiales from all football activity for three years. The sentence will be in place through the 2026 Men’s World Cup, but will have expired by the time the 2027 Women's World Cup begins.

The Spanish Soccer Federation (RFEF) and its president Luis Rubiales are not backing down.

Rubiales, who has come under fire for kissing Spain defender Jenni Hermoso on the lips after the team’s World Cup win, a gesture that Hermoso has said was non-consensual, has said he will not resign despite massive outcry for his removal.

In a statement, the federation said it was prepared to take “necessary legal action,” adding that “playing for the national team is an obligation on any member of the federation called upon to do so.”

Eighty-one players signed a letter Friday stating they would reject playing for the national team until RFEF leadership is changed.

“The evidence is conclusive. Mr. President has not lied,” the statement read. “The RFEF and Mr. President will demonstrate each of the lies that are spread either by someone on behalf of the player or, if applicable, by the player herself.”

The statement also included pictures of the medal ceremony, alongside descriptions of Hermoso and Rubiales’ body language, meant to invalidate Hermoso’s claims. Rubiales has referred to the incident as an example of “false feminism.”

“I feel obliged to report that Mr. Luis Rubiales’ words explaining the unfortunate incident are categorically false and part of the manipulative culture that he himself has generated,” Hermoso said in a statement. “I believe that no person, in any work, sports, or social setting should be a victim of an impulsive-driven, sexist, out of place act without any consent on my part.

“Simply put I was not respected.”