A Spanish high court judge has opened an investigation of former Spanish Football Federation president Luis Rubiales.
Spain forward Jenni Hermoso filed a legal complaint last week over Rubiales kissing her on the lips following her country’s Women’s World Cup final win.
Hermoso, 33, said the kiss was not consensual, while Rubiales claimed it was “mutual” and “consensual”.
Rubiales quit as Spanish FA president as a result of the controversy.
Last week, Prosecutor Marta Durantez Gil filed a complaint with Spain’s high court against Rubiales for sexual assault and coercion.
On Monday, Judge Francisco de Jorge of the National Court accepted the complaint.
A magistrate will be assigned to lead an investigation, which will conclude either with a recommendation for the case to go to trial or be dismissed.
The charge of sexual assault under Spanish law can carry a punishment ranging from a fine to four years in prison.
Pachuca player Hermoso released a long statement on social media on 25 August saying the kiss was not “consensual”.
“I feel the need to report this incident because I believe no person, in any work, sports or social setting should be a victim of these types of non-consensual behaviours. I felt vulnerable and a victim of impulsive-driven, sexist, out-of-place act, without any consent on my part,” she continued.
“Quite simply, I was not respected.”