Spanish soccer player Jenni Hermoso has accused Luis Rubiales of sexual assault for kissing her on the lips without her consent after the Women’s World Cup final, the country’s prosecutors’ office said Wednesday.
Rubiales, the now-suspended president of the Spanish soccer federation, kissed Hermoso on the lips during the awards ceremony after Spain beat England to win the title on Aug. 20 in Sydney.
Rubiales has insisted the kiss was consensual, which Hermoso has denied. She also said she and her family were pressured by the federation to show her support for Rubiales in the immediate aftermath of the scandal caused by the kiss that tarnished her team’s victory.
The prosecutors’ office in Madrid said that, according to a sexual consent law passed last year, Rubiales could face a fine or a prison sentence of one to four years if found guilty. The new law eliminated the difference between “sexual harassment” and “sexual assault,” sanctioning any unconsented sexual act.
Spain’s government, players’ unions, players and many citizens have come out in support of Hermoso. Rubiales, meanwhile, has become a soccer outcast even while he refuses to resign.
Rubiales was suspended from his post by FIFA on Aug. 27, a day after he refused to step down when he delivered a defiant speech to the general assembly of his federation in which he said he was victim of a “witch hunt” by “false feminists.” Rubiales was banned from his post for 90 days while the body’s disciplinary judges consider his case. FIFA can impose sanctions on individuals ranging from warnings and fines to suspensions from the sport.
The 46-year-old Rubiales also faces action from the Spanish government. A government legal panel overseeing sports has opened a probe to determine if he abused his authority by kissing Hermoso or tainted the image of Spain with his conduct. He faces being deemed unfit to hold his post for up to two years.
He could potentially face a no-confidence vote by the federation, a move that the institution has yet to make despite having asked him to resign.
But the decision by Hermoso represents the biggest challenge to Rubiales so far since it could lead to a criminal case.
Kiss like one ‘I could give 1 of my daughters’
The prosecutor’s office said Hermoso made the accusation on Tuesday. Prosecutors had said last week that they were going to meet with Hermoso to give her the opportunity to present an accusation against Rubiales. Interim federation president Pedro Rocha is considered an ally of Rubiales.
In that Aug. 26 speech before the federation assembly, Rubiales said the kiss was “mutual” and like one “I could give one of my daughters.”
Hermoso responded by saying that was a lie.
“I felt vulnerable and a victim of an impulse-driven, sexist, out of place act without any consent on my part,” Hermoso said in a statement posted on social media. “Simply put, I was not respected.”
Hermoso, a 33-year-old forward, now plays for Mexican club Pachuca after a long career with top Spanish and European clubs, including Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain and Atletico Madrid.
Rubiales’s behaviour at the final, which included a lewd crotch grab while next to dignitaries including Spain’s queen and teenage princess, combined with his controversial speech have torn Spanish soccer apart.
On Tuesday, the federation headed by interim president Pedro Rocha fired the coach of Spain’s Women’s World Cup champion team, Jorge Vilda. Despite leading the team to the title, Vilda was still considered an unpopular figure among its players and close to Rubiales. One year ago, 15 players said they would not play for him until he created a more professional work environment.
After Rubiales refused to step down last week and accused Hermoso of lying, the entire team of World Cup winners plus dozens more players said they would not play again for Spain until the president was gone.
Spain’s men’s team has also been impacted. Coach Luis de la Fuente had to ask for forgiveness for having applauded Rubiales’s sexist-tinged speech to the general assembly. His players also condemned Rubiales’s behaviour in a statement.
So far, there is no indication that the women players are set to return to the team even after the removal of Vilda.
Spain’s left-wing government and its women players hope that the backlash against Rubiales can lead to a reckoning with sexism in soccer.
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How to Spot a Trustworthy Online Casino in Canada
Spotting a trustworthy online casino isn’t hard once you know what to look for, but until then, you better hold off on signing up or making a deposit. This quick guide on how to find a reputable online casino will cover five different factors you can evaluate to determine whether or not a casino is trustworthy. While you could just use a site like the trusted source WikiHow that lists the best online casinos Canada, it does help to be able to evaluate the trustworthiness of casinos on your own. Likewise, you shouldn’t believe everything you read on the internet. Casino review sites are a great resource, but it doesn’t hurt to also do a little digging of your own. Without further delay, here’s a quick and easy guide on how to spot a trustworthy online casino.
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Never play at a casino that does not have a license or whose license is unverifiable. The easiest way to verify a license is to head to the licensor’s website and cross-check their registry with the name of the casino you’re looking at. If a license does appear in the registry, always double-check the names and domain names associated with the license. Some scam sites use domains that look similar to real casinos and act as if they are operating under their license. When in doubt, head to the URL listed on the license you find in the registry to be sure that you’re at the right site.
Evaluating the Casino’s Security Measures
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Verifying the Casino’s Customer Support
Good customer support is essential for a positive online casino experience. A trustworthy casino will have a responsive and knowledgeable support team available to assist you with any queries or concerns. Look for casinos that offer multiple support channels, such as live chat, email, and telephone. Additionally, check for the casino’s operating hours to ensure that support is available when you need it. You should also try and give their customer support a test run. By simply asking their 24/7 Live Chat simple questions about the site, you can get a feel for their response time and overall knowledge. Sites with poor customer service will often take a long time to connect to an agent and be unable to answer even the simplest of queries.
Looking for Fair and Transparent Bonus Terms
Bonuses and promotions are a common feature of online casinos, but it’s important to carefully review the terms and conditions associated with these offers. A trustworthy casino will have fair and transparent bonus terms, clearly outlining the wagering requirements, maximum bet limits, and any other conditions that apply. Avoid casinos that have overly restrictive or confusing bonus terms, as this may indicate a lack of transparency.
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Canadiens acquire Tanner Pearson, trade Casey DeSmith to Canucks
A third-round pick in 2025 also goes to Montreal in the deal completed Tuesday.
Pearson hasn’t played since suffering a broken hand last November during a game in Montreal.
Pearson, 31, had one goal and four assists in 14 games last season.
In 590 career games with the Canucks, Pittsburgh Penguins and Los Angeles Kings, Pearson has 133 goals and 139 assists for 272 points.
The Kings picked the Barrie Colts product in the first round (30th overall) of the 2012 NHL Draft.
Pearson is in the final year of a three-year contract with a cap hit of $3.25 million.
DeSmith, 32, has been with the Pittsburgh Penguins since 2017-18. He was acquired by the Canadians in a three-team deal also involving the San Jose Sharks last month.
DeSmith was 15-16-4 with a 3.17 goals-against average and .905 save percentage last season.
In 134 career games, the undrafted DeSmith is 58-44-15 with a 2.81 GAA and .912 save percentage.
DeSmith is on the final year of a two-year deal with a cap hit of $1.8 million.
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