Football: Spanish High Court prosecutor opens investigation into Luis Rubiales' unsolicited kiss

Spain's High Court prosecutor has opened a preliminary investigation into whether national football chief Luis Rubiales may have committed an act of sexual aggression, when he grabbed player Jenni Hermoso and kissed her on the lips, after Spain's victory in the women's World Cup.

A spokesperson for the prosecutor's office says the court has received several complaints, but will only launch a full inquiry, if Hermoso sought one. She says she does not want to be kissed.

The move increases the pressure on Rubiales, the president of the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF), who was suspended by FIFA, amid a furore over the incident at the ceremony, following Spain's World Cup win at Sydney.

RFEF has called regional federations to an urgent meeting to evaluate the situation, which has spiralled into a national row over women's rights, macho behaviour and sexual abuse.

Rubiales, 46, has refused to step down, saying the kiss - which took place in a globally watched live broadcast - was consensual. Hermoso, her teammates and the Spanish government say it was unwanted and demeaning.

Acting Labour Minister Yolanda Diaz says Rubiales' defiance and the support from some federation members showed that macho behaviour is systematic in Spanish society.

"What footballer Jenni Hermoso experienced should never have happened," Diaz said, before a meeting with the women players' union.

In a further twist, Rubiales' mother locked herself inside a church and started a hunger strike to protest against her son's treatment.

All 23 players on Spain's cupwinning squad, including Hermoso, as well as dozens of other squad members, say they will not play internationals while Rubiales remains head of the federation. Their next match is away to Sweden in the Nations League on September 22.