Rubiales faces longer suspension, federation meets on Monday

The Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) has called an extraordinary meeting of the presidents of the regional federations for Monday, a source close to AFP confirmed. According to several Spanish media, this meeting should start at 4:00 p.m.

Two days after opening a disciplinary investigation against Rubiales, world football’s governing body decided on Saturday to suspend the RFEF president for 90 days “from all football-related activity at national and international level”.

The Spanish government has for its part asked the Spanish Administrative Sports Court (TAD) to meet on Monday to rule on its request for the suspension of the functions of president of Luis Rubiales for “very serious infractions”, said the Minister of Sports. Miquel Iceta on Saturday.

This suspension could be added to that of Fifa, beyond 90 days.

“The only sanctions provided for by the Sports Law are to impose a fine or ineligibility for a period of between two and fifteen years,” sports lawyer Toni Roca said in an interview on Sunday. on Spanish public television.

The deserted selection

Rubiales, 46, caused a serious internal crisis and a wave of international indignation by kissing Jenni Hermoso on the mouth on August 20 during the medal ceremony for the Women’s World Cup won by La Roja.

The 23 players of the selection announced Friday their refusal to play again under his presidency, six members of the management of the women’s team resigned on Saturday, expressing “their firm and categorical condemnation of the behavior of Luis Rubiales with regard to Jennifer Hermoso”.

Deprived of his assistants, the coach, Jorge Vilda, remains in place, but has distanced himself from the boss of the RFEF, denouncing in a press release a victory “tarnished by the inappropriate behavior” of Mr. Rubiales.

Reactions of support for Hermoso have multiplied in the sporting, cultural and political world.

On Sunday, Spanish footballing legend Andrés Iniesta tackled Rubiales. “We cannot tolerate acts like the ones we have seen”, he wrote on X (formerly Twitter), castigating “a president who has clung to his post, who has not admitted that his behavior was unacceptable and harmed the image of our country and our football in the world”.

FC Barcelona, ​​​​former club of Hermoso, which had half-hearted condemnation on Friday, was clearer on Sunday by the voice of its president, Joan Laporta. “I repeat that this behavior is unacceptable. (…) I would even say that it is shameful” he said on Movistar+, adding: “Jenni, we are with you. We thought that Rubiales would resign.”

Several club players, such as those of Sevilla FC, have shown their support for the Spanish international, on banners at the start of the match or t-shirts with the message “se acabo” (let’s get it over with), which has gone viral on social networks.

Jenni Hermoso has also received support from French, American, English and German internationals, including “soccer” superstar Megan Rapinoe, and Israeli-American actress Natalie Portman.

Criminal complaints

On the criminal level, Luis Rubiales was the subject of four complaints for sexual assault received by the Spanish public prosecutor’s office on Friday, but none came from the player and they therefore have little chance of success.

Against all odds, he refused to resign on Friday at an extraordinary general meeting of the RFEF, saying that this kiss was “consented”.

But the player denied. “I felt vulnerable and victim of an aggression, an impulsive and sexist act, out of place and without any consent on my part,” the 33-year-old Spanish N.10 said in a statement on Friday evening.

In a press release finally removed from its site, the federation had assured that Jenni Hermoso “was lying in all her statements against the president”. The RFEF also indicated that Pedro Rocha Junco, vice-president, would take over during the suspension of his boss.

On Sunday, the RFEF’s sexual violence protection delegate said in a statement from the federation that she was in the middle of an “investigation process”.

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