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Spain initiates investigation into 'Kiss Scandal' amid calls for resignation from Rubiales

A startling incident involving Spain's football chief, Luis Rubiales, has sparked a widespread controversy known as the 'Kiss Scandal.' Spain's National Court has commenced a preliminary investigation into the matter, examining whether Rubiales' forcible kiss on World Cup player Jenni Hermoso's lips constitutes a potential case of "sexual assault."

Football Spain initiates investigation into 'Kiss Scandal' amid calls for resignation from Rubiales osf
First Published Aug 29, 2023, 3:31 PM IST

The 'Kiss Scandal' involving Spain's football chief, Luis Rubiales, has escalated with Spain's National Court launching a preliminary investigation into the incident. This investigation stems from Rubiales forcibly kissing World Cup player Jenni Hermoso during the medal ceremony after Spain's Women's World Cup victory. Prosecutors are probing whether this action constitutes a potential "sexual assault." Meanwhile, regional presidents of the Spanish football federation (RFEF) have urged Rubiales to step down, citing his "unacceptable behaviour" and demanding an immediate restructuring of the organization.

The National Court's decision to open the investigation is influenced by Hermoso's unequivocal statements regarding the incident, in which she expressed feeling vulnerable and assaulted. The court aims to ascertain the legal implications of her statements and is offering Hermoso the opportunity to file a lawsuit within 15 days.

The controversy deepened as FIFA provisionally suspended Rubiales for 90 days, pending disciplinary proceedings. However, his resignation might precede this action if he heeds the request from the RFEF's regional presidents.

In a significant show of unity, 81 players, including Hermoso, have gone on strike, emphasizing their stance against the federation's current leadership. The ongoing strike highlights the seriousness of the situation, as it aims to bring about a change in leadership.

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The scandal has also attracted international attention, with criticism coming from diverse quarters, including Spanish football legend Andres Iniesta and even the United Nations. The UN's spokesman voiced concern over the incident's sexist undertones and stressed the need to address such matters while respecting the rights of female athletes.

As this complex issue unfolds, it raises questions about the intersection of sports, leadership, and gender dynamics. The outcome of the investigation and any subsequent actions taken could have far-reaching implications for the Spanish football landscape and the broader conversation on athlete welfare and gender sensitivity.

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