MADRID: A Spanish judge has recommended that Luis Rubiales should stand trial over the women’s World Cup kiss involving captain Jenni Hermoso.

Rubiales, then Spanish football federation president, grabbed Hermoso’s head and kissed her during the presentation after Spain’s victory in Australia.

She said the kiss was “not consensual”, a statement denied by Mr Rubiales.

A judge has found there is enough evidence for the matter to proceed to trial.

During a hearing at the Audencia Nacional, or High Court, in Madrid, the judge described the kiss as “not consensual and… a unilateral and surprising initiative”.

Prosecutors had previously charged Rubiales with sexual assault and coercion.

Penalties for such a kiss range from a fine to four years in prison.

The incident has involved several Spanish football executives including Ms Hermoso’s former coach, a former marketing manager and the sports director of the men’s team.

Jorge Vilda, Rubén Rivera and Albert Luque are accused of pressuring Hermoso to say publicly the kiss had been consensual.

The judge in Madrid said the trio should also stand trial.

Lawyers involved in the proceedings now have 10 days to make a formal trial request before a court.

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