Spain to resolve 'unacceptable' situation at Spanish football federation

Spain to resolve 'unacceptable' situation at Spanish football federation
Fecha de publicación: 
17 April 2024
Imagen principal: 

The Spanish government promised on Tuesday to take action against the Spanish Football Federation. The organisation has been hit by scandal after scandal. Its former president, Luis Rubiales, is under investigation for corruption and now his successor, Pedro Rocha, is also being investigated by the Supreme Court of Sports.

"The Spanish government is committed to resolving the 'unacceptable' state of the federation," the Spanish executive said last Tuesday, promising to tackle the scandalous situation in which the country's football federation (RFEF) finds itself. Scandal after scandal, Spanish officials fear that FIFA may doubt the country's ability to host the 2030 World Cup.

José Manuel Uribes, president of the Supreme Sports Council (CSD) and secretary of state for sport, insisted that the scandals would have "absolutely no impact" on Spain's bid to host the 2030 World Cup. "I talk to FIFA almost every day, I think there has never been such fluid communication," he added. 

"They are sure that Spain is a country that knows how to organise things... The World Cup is not in danger," he declared. But credibility may be at stake. Every week brings a new chapter in the corruption scandal that has engulfed FIFA's top brass.

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Pedro Rocha, the sole candidate for the RFEF. GETTY IMAGES

Pedro Rocha, the sole candidate for the RFEF. GETTY IMAGES


First there was former president Luis Rubiales, who resigned last September after forcibly kissing the winner of the Women's World Cup, Jenni Hermoso, and is currently under investigation in a corruption case. 

His situation is critical after he was arrested on his return to Spain from the Dominican Republic, where he was at the start of the investigation, and his home and the headquarters of the Spanish federation were searched.

Rubiales has always insisted on his innocence, but every day more evidence emerges, putting him in a difficult position. Now the only candidate to replace Rubiales, Pedro Rocha, is also under investigation. A report by the country's Supreme Sports Tribunal (TAD) suggests that the RFEF has taken decisions "beyond its competence."

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The RFEF is in question with so many scandals. GETTY IMAGES

The RFEF is in question with so many scandals. GETTY IMAGES


"The Superior Sports Council (CSD) and the government will do everything possible to correct this unacceptable situation," said José Manuel Uribes, president of the CSD and secretary of state for sport.
According to Spanish media, the sports tribunal found that the RFEF management committee, which took over after Rubiales' resignation, had taken actions it did not have the authority to take, including the extension of men's team coach Luis de la Fuente's contract.

"I will call a meeting of the board in the next few days to take a decision following the resolution (of the TAD), which describes the actions of the RFEF president and the board in recent months as very serious," said Uribes.

With all this information, the CSD could declare Rocha, vice-president under Luis Rubiales and then interim head of the RFEF, ineligible for the presidency. He is the only candidate for the elections on 6 May. To date, there are no other candidates and Rocha's credibility is at an all-time low.

The corruption investigation centres on the lucrative contract signed by Rubiales to move the Spanish Super Cup to Saudi Arabia. Former Barcelona and Spain international Gerard Piqué is also implicated in the case.

"It is in the Government's interest to ensure that the investigation gets to the bottom of what happened," Uribes added. Far from clarifying the situation, however, it could become more complicated as Rocha is unwilling to have his honesty and integrity called into question. 

According to the Spanish media, the only candidate for the presidency of the RFEF is not prepared to resign. He will defend himself in court. Since learning that he was under investigation, he has instructed his lawyers to study the actions of the CSD and the Sports Tribunal.

As reported by the newspaper As, the former president of the RFEF's Administrative Commission could file a possible complaint for contempt against those who signed resolutions that, in his opinion, do not respect the legality or the rights of Pedro Rocha. Regarding its disagreement with the CSD and its behaviour, the Federation itself has issued a statement.

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