28 Aug Spanish FA set to meet over Rubiales scandal
The Spanish football federation (RFEF) has called an “extraordinary and urgent” meeting on Monday as it seeks to manage the fallout from FIFA’s suspension of its president Luis Rubiales after his unsolicited kiss of Spain forward Jenni Hermoso.
FIFA has hit Rubiales with a provisional suspension from all football-related activities for 90 days while disciplinary proceedings are ongoing over his behaviour following the country’s Women’s World Cup final victory.
Rubiales refused to bow to growing pressure to resign on Friday, leading the Spanish Government — via its Supreme Sports Council (CSD) — to seek his removal, filing a complaint with Spain’s Administrative Sports Court (TAD) which is set to meet this week.
Rubiales’ refusal to quit led 11 members of the Spain women’s team’s staff to resign, while coach Jorge Vilda and men’s coach Luis de la Fuente both issued statements distancing themselves from Rubiales.
LaLiga teams showed their support for Hermoso over the weekend, with Cadiz players posing with a banner saying “We are all Jenni” and Sevilla’s players wearing t-shirts with the slogan “It’s over,” used by Spain’s women on social media.
Acting RFEF president Pedro Rocha called a meeting of the presidents of Spain’s regional federations for Monday, with the agenda described as “analysing and evaluating the current situation” following FIFA’s decision to temporarily remove Rubiales from office.
Spain’s acting second vice-president, Yolanda Diaz, is also set to meet with the head of Hermoso’s union, Futpro, as well as representatives of another of Spanish football’s unions, AFE, and the women’s league, Liga F.
TAD, a tribunal made up of seven lawyers which rules on sporting legal matters, was due to meet on Thursday, but has come under pressure to bring that meeting forward given the public outcry against Rubiales.
If the court accepts that Rubiales has a case to answer, the CSD will then be able to proceed with his suspension, in parallel to that of FIFA.
Spain’s acting equality minister Irene Montero called for an “exemplary response” to Rubiales’ conduct on Monday, saying in an interview with Cadena SER that “all of [Spanish] society” expected action to be taken.
The feminist group ‘Feminismos Madrid’ called a protest in the centre of the Spanish capital on Monday evening in support of Hermoso and her Spain teammates, with the aim of “calling for a sport free of sexist violence.”
Hermoso made a first public appearance since Rubiales’ refusal to resign on Saturday, attending the Women’s Cup match between Atletico Madrid and AC Milan and receiving a standing ovation from the crowd.