Rubiales ‘can’t understand’ sexual assault claims over ‘Kissgate’

  • Luis Rubiales has hit back at claims his ‘Kissgate’ scandal was sexual assault 
  • The disgraced former Spanish FA boss was arrested on Wednesday morning
  • Have a day off, Pep! Guardiola’s lecture to Grealish on the Etihad pitch was unnecessary, says Ian Ladyman – It’s All Kicking Off 

Former Spanish FA president Luis Rubiales has insisted that he ‘can’t understand’ why his ‘Kissgate’ scandal would be labelled as sexual assault.

On Wednesday morning, Rubiales, 46, was arrested amid an ongoing corruption probe unrelated to the ‘unwanted’ kiss he gave footballer Jenni Hermoso after Spain’s Women’s World Cup women’s final win against England last August.

Instead, his arrest is linked to alleged financial irregularities during his time as head of the Spanish FA and focuses on business deals thought to include one to hold the Spanish Super Cup in Saudi Arabia.

However, despite his arrest for a separate matter, Rubiales still faces a potential penalty for his actions last August – with Spanish prosecutors seeking a two-and-a-half-year prison sentence for the former FA chief.

Now, in an interview with Spanish broadcaster La Sexta, Rubiales has spoken out and taken aim at the judge who charged him with coercion and sexual assault over his ‘unwanted’ Hermoso kiss by saying: ‘I think his way of describing my words is manipulative.’

Former Spanish FA president Luis Rubiales insisted that he 'can't understand' why his notorious 'Kissgate' scandal would be labelled as sexual assault
Rubiales kissed Jenni Hermoso on the lips without her consent after Spain's World Cup victory
A FIFA disciplinary committee found Rubiales had acted with 'a sense of complete impunity'

A first clip of the interview released overnight showed Rubiales, who went to the Dominican Republic earlier this year for work reasons, reacting angrily to claims by interviewer Ana Pastor that his defence has involved attacking the football player.

In a subsequent clip he insisted of his infamous kiss: ‘I cannot understand that anyone could think this was a sexual assault’ before rejecting any coercion by saying: ‘I only spoke 10 or 15 seconds with Miss Hermoso.’

The full interview is set to air at 9:30pm BST however the outlet have already released an excerpt from the discussion, where Rubiales voiced his opinion.

Last month public prosecutors involved in the ‘Kissgate’ case said they were seeking a two-and-a-half year prison sentence for Rubiales.

They said, in an indictment sent to Madrid-based judge Francisco de Jorge, they wanted him jailed for a year if he was found guilty at trial of sexual assault and another 18 months for coercion linked to his alleged attempts to get the footballer to speak out in his defence following his World Cup kiss.

Around the same time Spanish public prosecutors asked for Rubiales to be arrested over alleged financial irregularities while he was in charge of the Spanish FA.

The full interview will be released late on Wednesday evening, where Rubiales also addresses the ongoing corruption probe he’s been drawn into.

Prosecutors in Spain are pushing for Rubiales to receive a 2.5-year prison term over 'Kissgate'
The incident completely overshadowed Spain's World Cup win and sparked outrage across the football world - igniting one of the worst crises in the history of the sport in Spain

The corruption probe is linked to alleged financial irregularities during his time as head of the Spanish FA and focuses on business deals thought to include one to hold the Spanish Super Cup in Saudi Arabia.

Rubiales was arrested by police on Wednesday after being escorted off a flight back to Madrid from the Caribbean.

Detectives were waiting for him as he stepped off an Air Europa plane from the Dominican Republic which landed at Madrid’s Barajas Airport just before 11am local time.

Police confirmed he had been released just after 1.30pm ahead of an expected court summons where he will be questioned by a judge behind closed doors.

His home in the southern Spanish city of Granada was one of several properties searched on March 20 but he was already in the Caribbean.

A Spanish court has also been investigating Rubiales (L) over decision in 2019 to relocate the Spanish Super Cup to Saudi Arabia
Footage emerged on Wednesday that showed the 46-year-old entering a Civil Guard van just after 10.30am local time, after officers awaited his arrival at Madrid's Barajas Airport
Police searched the apartment belonging to former FA president Rubiales last month

Rubiales had already said he would return to Spain and insisted it would be on April 6 but overnight it emerged he had changed his travel plans.

He brought forward his voluntary return after a Spanish police operation in the Dominican Republic on Monday with assistance from local officers.

Officers from the Civil Guard’s Central Operative Unit, a specialist division of the police force responsible for investigation and prosecution of the most serious forms of crime and organised crime, are said to have confiscated his phone and a laptop during a reported search of the property he has been staying at on the Caribbean island.

Spanish outlet El Mundo said police investigators have concluded Rubiales diverted at least £3.24million (€3.8 million) from the Spanish FA to a construction firm that paid him kickbacks through a company controlled by a close friend.

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