Rubiales' kiss: Spanish prosecutors open sexual assault probe into forced kiss

The preliminary investigation comes after Rubiales kissed Spanish midfielder Jenni Hermoso on the lips after Spain's victory at the Women's World Cup

A preliminary investigation into Spanish Football Federation President Luis Rubiales' forced kiss on Jenni Hermoso at the World Cup has been launched, according to prosecutors at Spain's top criminal court, on the basis that it may constitute sexual assault. 

It follows an "extraordinary and urgent" meeting, shortly after Rubiales was given a three-month suspension by Fifa. The 46-year-old President had previously stated he would not be stepping down following the incident. 

This, however, has lead to a prominent member of the Federation resigning from his position on Saturday. Rafael del Amo, vice president, declared: "I have presented my resignation after seeing that Luis Rubiales continues to head the Spanish federation. I owe a lot of things to Luis but what happened at the final is unacceptable.”

Rubiales faced heavy criticism when he kissed Jenni Hermoso, a Spanish midfielder, during the World Cup trophy ceremony on 20 August. Despite this, Rubiales has rejected calls to step down, claiming the kiss was consensual, which Hermoso has disputed.

The Spanish court is also said to offer Hermoso an opportunity to file a lawsuit from her end. 

Meanwhile, the Spanish Government has asked for Rubiales' suspension from the Spanish Sports Tribunal.

In response to the backlash, Rubiales' mother has gone on hunger strike, citing the "inhuman hunt" against her son.