Sunday, May 19

Spanish Football Federation Leaders Call for Resignation of Luis Rubiales

Spanish Football Federation Leaders Call for Resignation of Luis Rubiales

Prominent figures within the Spanish Football Federation have intensified their demand for the suspended President, Luis Rubiales, to step down due to his conduct during the Women’s World Cup. This includes a widely condemned incident in which he forcibly kissed Spain’s Women’s World Cup player, Jenni Hermoso, on the lips – an action that has triggered widespread outrage on an international scale.


Spanish Football Federation Leaders Call for Resignation of Luis Rubiales
Spanish Football Federation Leaders Call for Resignation of Luis Rubiales


The leaders of the various regional entities constituting the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) have come together to voice their plea. In a concerted statement released on Monday, they collectively called upon Rubiales to relinquish his position. The gravity of his actions and the ensuing controversy have prompted this unified stance from the regional heads, underscoring the pressing need for accountability and change within the federation’s leadership.

In the wake of recent developments and the egregious conduct that has inflicted significant harm upon the reputation of Spanish football, the presidents representing the federation’s various regions have emphatically urged Luis Rubiales to promptly step down from his role as the President of the RFEF. This decisive statement was issued subsequent to a gathering on Monday, where the regional leaders convened to assess the situation.

Expressing their endorsement for Pedro Rocha, the current interim head of the RFEF who convened the meeting, the regional leaders have thrown their support behind his leadership. They envisage Rocha steering the organization toward a path of open dialogue and harmonious reconciliation with all segments of football institutions. Moreover, they have stressed the imperative need for a comprehensive restructuring of the federation’s management framework. This call for reform resonates with the intention to rectify the existing issues and to restore integrity to the Spanish football ecosystem.

“We will actively implore the pertinent authorities to undertake a comprehensive and urgent reorganization of key positions within the federation, paving the path for a fresh era in the administration of Spanish football,” the collective statement from the regional presidents outlined.

Simultaneously, prosecutors at Spain’s preeminent criminal court announced on Monday that they have initiated a preliminary inquiry into the incident involving Rubiales’s forceful kiss. This investigation is grounded in the possibility that such an act might fall within the legal parameters of a “sexual assault” offense. This legal development further underscores the gravity of the situation and emphasizes the urgent need for a thorough examination of the matter.

Last week, Hermoso expressed her sentiment of being akin to a “victim of assault,” asserting that the kiss she experienced during the medal ceremony post Spain’s victory in the Women’s World Cup held in Sydney on August 20 was decidedly non-consensual.

Prosecutors, in response to the situation, declared their intention to approach Hermoso with the opportunity to potentially initiate a legal proceeding within a 15-day timeframe.

In contrast to the mounting controversy and calls for his resignation, Rubiales, aged 46, has remained steadfast in his stance. During a federation gathering on Friday, widely anticipated to be his resignation announcement, Rubiales stood his ground and declined to step down. He framed the kiss as an impromptu, shared, exuberant, and consensual moment.

The RFEF also released a statement, affirming that the beleaguered president would engage in a legal defense through appropriate channels to substantiate his “complete innocence.” This legal maneuver is seemingly poised to address the accusations head-on and present Rubiales’s perspective on the matter.

In a further development on Monday, the Associated Press news agency revealed that the Spanish federation had formally requested the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) to impose a suspension on the federation’s participation in international competitions. This plea was predicated on allegations of government interference, which are intricately connected to the ongoing Rubiales controversy. The move adds a layer of complexity to the situation, potentially leading to repercussions on the international stage for Spanish football.

The potential suspension, if enacted, would result in Spanish teams being prohibited from participating in prestigious competitions such as the Champions League. The extraordinary nature of this request has raised speculation that its underlying motive might be to incite support from influential entities within Spanish football, including fervent fan bases, powerful clubs like Barcelona and Real Madrid, and even the national men’s team, all in a bid to rally behind efforts to secure Rubiales’s tenure.

The regulations established by international football’s governing bodies have long prohibited any form of governmental intervention in the administration of domestic football federations.

Contrary to this backdrop, the statement from the regional RFEF presidents on Monday took a different course. They urged Pedro Rocha, the interim president of the football federation, to promptly retract the request made to UEFA, viewing it as a step that should be rescinded without delay.

As these developments unfold, Spain’s prominent football clubs are on the cusp of participating in the Champions League group-stage draw scheduled for Thursday, an event overseen by UEFA. Furthermore, the men’s national team has crucial matches slated for September 8 and 12, tied to the qualification campaign for the 2024 European Championship. The intricate timing adds an additional layer of urgency to the unfolding situation.



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