The president of the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF), Luis Rubiales Béjar, surprised by not presenting his resignation this Friday during the Extraordinary General Assembly that was held in Las Rozas after the multiple reprimands received in recent days for his attitude in the box and for having kissed the player Jenni Hermoso at the women's World Cup trophy ceremony. The decision was announced by Rubiales himself after meeting with the territorial Federations that attended the assembly and that previously met with the former president.
They were not all. 75 people of the 140 expected attended. One of those who was absent was the Basque. To explain his refusal, Rubiales elaborated with a long and controversial speech before a board of directors and the federations that received him with applause. "I want to thank you for all the messages received. Also to the people who are not from football and who have given me their support. More than against it," Rubiales started.
The men's coach Luis de la Fuente and also the one from the women's team, Jorge Vilda, also attended and stood in the front row. "I want to apologize without palliatives for an event that occurred in the box. When in a moment of euphoria I grabbed that part of my body. I am going to proceed to explain it by looking at Jorge Vilda. We have been through a lot. They have wanted to do the same to me as to you. I was very excited when we won until we lost control. You Jorge, you turned around and dedicated the World Cup to me and at that moment I made you this sign. But it is not very gratifying. My infinite apologies, "Rubiales continued, also looking at his three daughters. "Don't cry, you have to be proud of who your father is. You have to differentiate between truth and lie. That is false feminism," said the president before going on to explain his version of the controversial kiss to Jenni Hermoso.
"It was like giving one of my daughters a kiss. There is no desire. It was a spontaneous kiss. Mutual, euphoric and consenting that this is the key to the entire process that has been set up. This player missed a penalty, or I have a great Relationship with all the players and the expedition. We lived together for a month and we had a lot of affection. Jenni lifted me off the ground. So much so that we almost fell and when we left me on the ground we hugged. She brought me close to her body. I told her : "You've been fantastic. Without you we would not have won the World Cup. She answered me: you are a crack. I told him: a little bit? and she said: okay. That is the sequence of everything. It was an anecdote. She said it too. From the anecdote to nothing happens, all these pressures begin, it goes to the silence of the player and to some words that I do not quite understand. It is not about doing justice. It is a social murder. They are trying to kill me. As a Spaniard, I think we have to reflect on where we are going," she said.
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, also urged that during the Extraordinary Assembly there be "a clear and unequivocal gesture of rejection" of Rubiales. At the same time, the CSD continues to work to bring Rubiales' performance during the World Cup final before the Sports Administrative Court (TAD).
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) changed the leadership of the majority union there 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.
His career at the head of the RFEF has been punctuated by continuous conflicts and with forms that are not liked at heights. Alleged pleasure trips to New York, parties and orgies also allegedly paid for by the RFEF, audios with Gerard Piqué leaked through El Confidencial that revealed a millionaire deal for moving the tournament to an undemocratic country such as Saudi Arabia or the conflict with the 15 players who stood up demanding more professionalization. Then came the stolen kiss from Jenni Hermoso.
Since Sunday, the day the Spanish women's soccer team won the World Cup, there has been a cascade of reproaches against Rubiales by top leaders in the cultural, sports, and especially political spheres. 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.
For its part, the Higher Sports Council (CSD) will take Rubiales' performance during the World Cup final before the Sports Administrative Court (TAD). This is in line with what has already been expressed by the Secretary of State for Sport, Víctor Francos, in different interviews as a result of Rubiales grabbing his testicles from his position in the box as a sign of victory for the national team title. Spanish; and, of course, as a result of the kiss given without permission to Hermoso.
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 on Thursday first with the news that the Basque Federation would 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 relieve Rubiales. However, Rubiales resists.