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Prosecutors seeking 2.5-year prison sentence for former Spain soccer chief over World Cup kiss

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(LONDON) — Prosecutors are seeking a two-and-a-half-year prison sentence for Spain’s former soccer chief, Luis Rubiales, who may stand trial over a nonconsensual kiss at the Women’s World Cup last year, the Madrid prosecutor’s office confirmed to ABC News.

Rubiales kissed Spanish soccer player Jennifer Hermoso on the lips without her consent during the team’s trophy ceremony following Spain’s 1-0 win against England on Aug. 20, 2023. The incident was captured on video and in photos.

The former Spanish soccer federation president was banned in October 2023 from national and international soccer activities for three years after the organization found he violated an article of FIFA’s disciplinary code with the kiss incident.

Earlier this year, a judge said enough evidence existed to propose a trial for Rubiales and three other former executives with the Royal Spanish Football Federation.

Prosecutors confirmed to ABC News on Wednesday that they have asked for a two-and-a-half-year sentence for Rubiales, arguing he was holding the head of Hermoso without her consent and that the nonconsensual kiss had personal and professional consequences for the soccer player. He could also face a fine of at least 50,000 euros ($54,000), they said.

Prosecutors said they are also requesting that Rubiales be prohibited from getting within a 200-meter radius of Hermoso and be barred from communicating with her.

Rubiales, who was charged with sexual assault and coercion, has claimed the kiss was consensual and denied any wrongdoing.

The prosecutor’s office said it also requested one-and-a-half years in prison for the three former executives. The judge said they may have put pressure on Hermoso to say it was a consensual kiss.

A trial has not yet started in the case.

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