The women of the team have done everything in their power. The Government, with a caution that in different circles is criticized as exasperating, is speeding up the process. At the international level, FIFA has provisionally disabled Luis Rubiales. And in Spain? After the initial storm and after it became clear on Friday that the president of the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF), Luis Rubiales, is not going to leave voluntarily, everything is in the hands of sports justice, since the Government has ensured that FIFA’s move does not stop the national process.

A little bit, Jenni? (Or why you have to change the sports law so that there are no more Rubiales)


The person in charge is the Administrative Court of Sport (TAD), the only body that handles the resolution of sports sanctions in Spain. The TAD hangs from the Higher Sports Council (CSD), the government institution that deals with sports affairs, but beyond the fact that its seven members are appointed by the CSD, it acts independently. Only the TAD can act in this case outside ordinary justice, another way that could be activated but that depends above all on Jennifer Hermoso reporting.

The RFEF is a private organization in its nature (although de facto it is not entirely) and the Government cannot enter directly into its management or throw anyone out of office. The most that the Executive can do, as it has done through the CSD, is to temporarily disable him if the TAD opens a file for an alleged “very serious” offense. For this, the Council has submitted a “reasoned request” to the TAD for the violation of articles 76.1.a of the Sports Law and 14.h of Royal Decree 1591/1992 on Sports Discipline. The first would mean committing abuse of authority. The second refers to “notorious and public acts that violate sporting dignity or decorum, when they are particularly serious.” Both are classified as “very serious” offenses.

At the moment, and following the RFEF statutes, Rubiales is no longer in office and has been replaced by his trusted vice president, Pedro Rocha, who has called a meeting for this Monday afternoon with the aim of analyzing the situation that it opens now. At the moment, being provisionally suspended, the RFEF statutes do not require any action. If he is removed from office he will definitely have to call an election.

TAD pending… and ordinary justice?

In the event that the TAD initially agrees with the Government and opens a file to determine if “very serious” offenses have been committed, as the CSD accuses it, it is then that this body can provisionally disqualify Rubiales, according to article 62.2 .6 of the Sports Law. The final destination of the president of the RFEF, however, would continue to depend on the final qualification of the facts made by the TAD.

That is out of the hands of the government. But what the Executive can do and has done is try to speed up the process as much as possible. The president of the CSD, Víctor Francos, asked the TAD to meet in an extraordinary way this Monday (it usually does so on Thursdays), an issue that, according to CSD sources, at the end of Sunday was still unconfirmed. In the fastest scenario, if the court attends to the Government’s request and decides to initiate a file for a “very serious” infraction, the CSD could convene a meeting that same Monday. The regulations of the government body require a minimum of two days between the call and the holding of the meeting, recalled Francos. Therefore, the first possible day for the government to (temporarily) disable Rubiales would be Wednesday. If not, it will be two days after the TAD meets.

But FIFA has already disqualified the president of the RFEF. How does this affect your situation? The Government maintained on Saturday that for its part in no way. The process in Spain continues, assured Víctor Francos: “FIFA’s decision is in application of the regulations of a private entity. This is in no way an obstacle for the Government of Spain to send, as it did yesterday afternoon, to the TAD a thoroughly analyzed complaint, ”he explained.

In addition, the sanction of the international federation is provisional, with a duration of 90 days while it elucidates the file that it has opened. Among the possible sanctions that FIFA can impose on Rubiales is the “prohibition to carry out activities related to soccer”, which would mean the end of Rubiales in the RFEF.

The other front that could be opened to the already ex-president of the RFEF is the judicial one. The complaints for his forced kiss to Hermoso accumulate both in the State Attorney General’s Office and in Madrid, which have forwarded some of them to the National Court, understanding that it is this body that must manage it because the events occurred outside of Spain. The National Court for the moment has not communicated any decision. In any case, jurists recall that although the kiss that Rubiales gave Hermoso without consent can be considered a sexual assault, without a complaint from the player the matter will not have a judicial proceeding. In this plane everything depends on Jennifer Hermoso.

A confusing strategy?

And Rubiales? From the outside, his strategy may seem confusing: after attacking Hermoso, he insulted everyone who criticized him for it, then made a video trying to apologize to finally little less than blame the player last Friday. At the RFEF meeting, he said that the kiss was “spontaneous”, but also that he asked her permission. With his personal situation it has been a bit similar: at first he was entrenched in not resigning, later he leaked that he was going to leave him and ended up unhinging the jaws of the entire country with his tribute to Jordan Belfor (the Wolf of Wall Street) in the assembly of the RFEF.

But in the midst of this apparent chaos, he has also been maneuvering, advised by two people who know the business: The general secretary of the RFEF, Andreu Camps, who was a member of the Administrative Court of Sport, and Tomás González Cueto, of the legal team.

That same Friday, before not resigning, Rubiales had summoned the hard core of the federation, the presidents of the territorial ones. And in that previous one he restructured the RFEF Board of Directors at his whim – the statutes grant him that authority – to leave his succession arranged in the terms that most favor him. He dismissed all the vice presidents and left only one: Pedro Rocha, head of the Extremadura Football Federation and a person he trusted most. In this way, Rubiales prevented the entire previous Board of Directors, in which there were people dissatisfied with his actions (several regional presidents have resigned), from being in charge. After the disqualification of FIFA, Rocha now remains as the head of the federation and has called the territorial ones to a meeting on Monday afternoon to analyze the scenario that is now opening in the RFEF and the next steps to take.

Because as long as there is no permanent sanction, the current leadership of the RFEF does not need to take any action and could remain in office until 2024, when Rubiales’ term ended and it was time to call elections. This is made explicit in point 31.7 of the federation’s statutes, which specifies that “In cases of (…) any other cause that temporarily prevents him from performing his duties, the President will be replaced by the Vice Presidents, in their order (…) ”. The 8 already clarifies what happens if this impossibility of exercising command is permanent: “If the President were to leave for reasons other than the conclusion of his term, the Board of Directors will become a Management Commission and will call elections to fill the position; The one who is elected will occupy the position for a time equal to the time remaining to serve the replaced one.


How to stop the lies

The 23J campaign has made clear the tremendous importance of the free press, which depends on its readers and owes nothing to anyone else. The vast majority of the big media are owned by banks, funds and large communication groups. The vast majority of them have whitewashed the ultras and are under the control of the agenda set by the right.

That is why we ask for your support. We need to grow. Hire more journalists. Reinforce our local editions against the lies of the local and regional governments of the extreme right. Sign more investigative reporters. We need to reach more people, build a bigger newspaper, capable of countering the brutal wave of conservative propaganda that we are going to face. And that will leave small what we have experienced in this dirty electoral campaign.

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