In the investigation into the kissing scandal involving Luis Rubiales, the now-resigned head of the Spanish football association RFEF, the judiciary questioned three world champions. World footballer Alexia Putellas, captain Irene Paredes and Misa Rodríguez confirmed on Monday that their teammate Jennifer Hermoso was kissed on the mouth by Rubiales against her will at the World Cup medal ceremony on August 20 in Sydney, Australia, according to the state television station RTVE and other Spanish media reported, citing judicial circles in Madrid.

The players also confirmed that Hermoso was subsequently put under pressure, among other things, on the team bus and on a holiday together in Ibiza in order to relieve Rubiales, it was said. The 46-year-old ex-official tried to persuade the footballer in tears to make a video together. The three interviewees also said that they had heard from third parties that the 33-year-old Hermoso had been pressured by the then national coach Jorge Vilda, among others, to make her explain that the kiss was mutually agreed upon.

The responsible judge, Francisco de Jorge, who is investigating Rubiales for sexual aggression and coercion in connection with the alleged forced kiss, personally questioned Rodríguez in the State Court in Madrid and heard Putellas and Paredes via video conference. The national coach Vilda, who was replaced by Montse Tomé after the World Cup, was summoned to appear on October 10th. He is now also being investigated.

Rubiales asserts that Hermoso consented to the kiss. However, the player explained that she felt “the victim of an impulsive, sexist and inappropriate act that I did not consent to.” The investigating judge must decide whether the accused should be put in the dock. According to experts, Rubiales faces a prison sentence of up to four years in this case.