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Alexia Putellas among Spain players called as witnesses in Luis Rubiales investigation

Putellas was one of three players to appear before the judge

Imogen Ainsworth
Monday 02 October 2023 15:17 BST
Alexia Putellas backed her team-mate Jenni Hermoso in the battle against Luis Rubiales
Alexia Putellas backed her team-mate Jenni Hermoso in the battle against Luis Rubiales (PA Wire)

Two-time Ballon d’Or winner Alexia Putellas and Spanish teammates Irene Paredes and Misa Rodríguez appeared as witnesses at the investigation of former Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) president Luis Rubiales for his unsolicited kiss.

The players appeared before the judge on Monday with Rodríguez attending court in Madrid along with Putellas, while Paredes attended via video conference from Barcelona. They all answered questions from the judge.

The three players were all selected for Spain’s recent Nations League squad and subsequently joined the team’s training camp after the national team boycott ended.

Rubiales has been accused of sexual assault and coercion by Spanish state prosecutors after he kissed Jenni Hermoso on the lips without her consent after the Women's World Cup final in August. In September, he was banned from going within 200 metres of Hermoso.

World Cup winner Hermoso was not selected for Spain’s Nations League fixtures, something which she has questioned, and is expected to testify at some point in the trial.

Former national team coach Jorge Vilda as well as a couple of federation officials have also been summoned as investigated parties and are set to appear before the judge next week.

Vilda, who was replaced by Montse Tome after the World Cup, was among those accused of allegedly trying to convince Hermoso to back Rubiales after the incident.

If found guilty of sexual assault, Rubiales could face a prison sentence of one to four years or a fine according to a new sexual consent law that was passed last year.

The law eliminated the difference between "sexual harassment" and "sexual assault," sanctioning any unconsented sexual act.

When Spain recently played Sweden in the Nations League, the two teams stood together before the match with a banner that read “Se Acabo”, which translates to “it’s over”, and “Our fight is the global fight” written in English. The Spanish players also wore wristbands with “Se Acabo” written on them.

England and Scotland wore the same white wristbands when they faced each other in their Nations League match.

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