FIFA suspends Rubiales for 90 days

The euphoria has lasted Luis Rubiales less than 24 hours.

Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
25 August 2023 Friday 22:21
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FIFA suspends Rubiales for 90 days

The euphoria has lasted Luis Rubiales less than 24 hours. Despite its intention to hold on to the position, expressed in the extraordinary assembly on Friday in the Ciudad del Fútbol de Las Rozas, FIFA did not wait for the intervention of the Spanish Government scheduled for tomorrow and yesterday and through a statement decided to suspend for 90 days and with immediate effect to Luis Rubiales. From now on, and in accordance with the Federation's statutes, the deputy vice-president to the Presidency, Pedro Rocha Junco, the president of the Extremaduran territory and one of the leaders most fond of Rubiales, assumes the interim presidency.

The decision that Pedro Rocha be Rubiales' successor was made on Friday at a meeting before the assembly and in which Rubiales removed six of the seven he had as vice presidents (including Joan Soteras, the president of the Catalan Federation). leaving only Pedro Rocha in a strategic line in which he provided for the disqualification by the Government.

Pedro Rocha, little known in the world of soccer, is a businessman linked to futsal, a sport in which he played several seasons in the Division of Honor. He has also been part of the Cacereño board of directors and coaching staff and in recent years has been a director of the Extremadura Federation, of which he has been president since 2013.

Contrasting with the harshness of FIFA is the passivity of UEFA, the body of which Luis Rubiales has been vice president since 2019, a year after assuming the presidency of the Federation.

FIFA has acted through its Disciplinary Committee chaired by Colombian Jorge Iván Palacio and its resolution is in accordance with article 51 of its Disciplinary Code.

In the statement issued yesterday, FIFA is exhaustive: "The provisional suspension of Mr. Luis Rubiales from all football-related activities at the national and international level is agreed. This suspension, which will be effective as of today, extends for an initial period of ninety days, and as long as the disciplinary procedure opened by this Disciplinary Commission against Mr. Luis Rubiales on Thursday, August 24, is processed." .

And he adds: "Likewise, the president of the FIFA Disciplinary Committee in order to preserve, among other factors, the fundamental rights of the player of the national soccer team Mrs. Jennifer Hermoso and the good order of the disciplinary procedure that is pending before this disciplinary body, has issued two additional directives by which it orders Mr. Luis Rubiales to refrain, through himself or third parties, from contacting or attempting to contact the professional player of the Spanish national team Ms. Jennifer Hermoso or your close environment. Likewise, the RFEF and its officers or employees, directly or through third parties, are ordered to refrain from contacting the professional player of the Spanish national team Ms. Jennifer Hermoso or her close environment ”.

The reaction of the Spanish Federation did not wait. In the middle of the afternoon, he posted a statement on his website in which he acknowledged receipt of the notification from FIFA, informing that Pedro Rocha would assume the interim presidency for the next 90 days and ending by recalling that "Luis Rubiales has stated that he He will legally defend himself in the competent bodies, he fully trusts the FIFA instances and reiterates that in this way he is given the opportunity to begin his defense so that the truth prevails and his complete innocence is proven. The first measure of Pedro Rocha as president was to remove said statement from the Federation's website.

FIFA's action is independent of those processed by the Spanish Government also with the aim of disqualifying Rubiales. In this sense, the Higher Sports Council (CSD) already formulated a reasoned petition this Friday to the Administrative Court of Sports (TAD) for a possible violation of articles 76.1 of the sports law (it refers to abuses of authority) and 2:00 p.m. of Royal Decree 1591/1992 (notorious and public acts that violate sporting dignity and decorum).

The CSD considers “both very serious infractions”. The TAD meets on Thursdays and is the body that could disqualify Luis Rubiales in Spain. The president of the CSD, Víctor Francos, has asked the TAD to meet this Monday. Even without being suspended by FIFA, it was hard to believe that Luis Rubiales had not been banned over the next week.

The president of the CSD, Víctor Franco, assured yesterday that "FIFA's position comes to reinforce and reaffirm that the path that the Government of Spain has communicated is the correct one. Our road map is not modified in any case." And he ends: "I think that when someone insistently says that everyone is going in the opposite direction, they must think that he is the one who is going in the opposite direction."