After the controversies that have been generated, the president of the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF), Luis Rubiales, submitted his resignation this Friday during the Extraordinary General Assembly scheduled to be held in Las Rozas (Madrid), as he was told this Thursday to his closest circle. This occurs after the multiple reprimands received in recent days for having kissed, without permission, the player Jenni Hermoso at the women’s World Cup trophy delivery.
Thus, Rubiales will resign from his presidential position in an Assembly that will begin at 12:00 p.m. in the Ciudad del Fútbol. After the enormous pressure on the president of the RFEF for that kiss, for certain obscene acts during the World Cup final and his subsequent apologies in a controversial video, both the COPE network and the SER and many other sports media have verified that Rubiales will settle with a resignation his mandate of more than five years.
On May 17, 2018, Rubiales was elected by a large majority as the new president of the RFEF, beating his opponent Juan Luis Larrea in the elections by 80 votes to 56. Leaving behind his time as a former soccer player, remembered above all for being a soldier in the Levante UD, the former president of the Association of Spanish Soccer Players (AFE) there changed the leadership of the majority union for that of the federative employers’ association.
Rubiales was then 40 years old and took the reins of the RFEF until September 21, 2020, the end date for a mandate that was already complicated. That was due to the definitive disqualification that was imposed at the end of 2017 on former president Ángel María Villar, arrested in July of that year for his involvement in ‘Operation Soule’.
Juan Luis Larrea himself served for several months as interim president, but lost the elections to a Rubiales who had won the support of the most important Territorial Federations. From the top of the AFE, with attitudes now criticized by his former colleague Tamara Ramos, Rubiales forged the jump to the RFEF and with it abandoned several revolutions at the institutional level.
He promised a profound remodeling of amateur football, coupled with a change of format in the Copa del Rey; He claimed complete command of the RFEF in the national futsal competitions and, above all, focused his cabinet effort towards the professionalization of women’s soccer to enhance the economic and sporting impact alike.
However, those pillars of the legislature have ended up faltering and it seems that, except for a huge surprise, they will cost him his job this Friday due to a repeated accumulation of malpractice. On the one hand, there are the legal measures filed by the RFEF against Tamara Ramos, after she accused Rubiales of perpetrating “humiliation” when both coincided working in the AFE.
Proliferation of criticism in record time
These statements by the current manager of the Futbolistas ON union, described as “very serious and false” by the RFEF, have been added to similar testimonies throughout this week. Beatriz Álvarez, president of the F League, has called Rubiales’ attitude towards her “rude and macho” in some work meetings.
In this sense, there have been cascades of reproaches to the still president of the RFEF by top leaders of the cultural, sports and especially political fields. Pedro Sánchez himself made Rubiales’ apologies ugly in his video, just 24 hours before the Prime Minister received the members of the women’s team that won the World Cup on August 20.
The second vice president, Yolanda Díaz, and the Minister of Equality, Irene Montero, have been the most discordant female voices within a government still in office. But neither has there been a lack of criticism from Isabel Rodríguez, Minister of Territorial Policy and government spokesperson; María Jesús Montero, Minister of Finance; of Pilar Alegría, spokesperson for the PSOE, nor of Cuca Gamarra, general secretary of the PP.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Culture and Sports, Miquel Iceta, has established that during the Extraordinary Assembly there be “a clear and unequivocal gesture of rejection” of Rubiales. He has also announced that the Higher Sports Council (CSD) will take Rubiales’ performance during the World Cup final before the Sports Administrative Court (TAD).
The CSD, on alert to take action
This goes online confused by the Secretary of State for Sport, Víctor Francos, in different interviews due to the fact that he grabbed the testicles from his position in the box as a sign of victory for the title of the Spanish national team; and, of course, as a result of the kiss given without permission to Hermoso, which in the end has generated the great snowball against the RFEF.
The usual support for the president of the RFEF has been diluted in the last hours, with the thrust made from FIFA since its Disciplinary Committee is going to open a “disciplinary procedure” against him. The icing on the cake came this Thursday, first with the news that the Basque Federation will not attend the Extraordinary Assembly, and later with the president of the Extremadura Federation, Pedro Rocha, running as the top leader of the Management Board to take over from Rubiales.
Finally, Cádiz CF has publicly joined the list of absentees along with Real Zaragoza; Real Sociedad, Atlético de Madrid, Real Madrid, Girona FC, Deportivo Alavés, UD Las Palmas, SD Eibar, Elche CF, CD Tenerife and Real Sporting, among other clubs, have expressed dissatisfaction, in the words of leaders or coaches, with the Rubiales’ behavior and his management of the crisis.