Questions and Answers on the ‘Rubiales case’ | Soccer | Sports


The cAso Rubiales It has become the topic of the month, and who knows if of the year, in the world of Spanish sports. His significance has gone far beyond football. The worldwide repercussion of the kiss that the president of the Spanish Football Federation gave the player Jenni Hermoso after winning the Women’s World Cup, the player’s statement pointing out the lack of consent and Rubiales’ refusal to resign have raised several questions about what is the process that is now being opened to suspend and remove the manager.

What is the current situation of Rubiales?

For the moment, FIFA has already temporarily suspended Rubiales from his position. The president of Spanish soccer will not be able to exercise for the next three months, after the highest international body opened a file for the kiss to Hermoso and his obscene gestures during the celebration in the stadium box.

The presidents of the territorial federations, who applauded Rubiales’ vehement speech in which he presented himself as a victim of feminism and cheered that he was not going to resign, have also withdrawn their support for the manager. The 19 regional barons, directed on an interim basis by Pedro Rocha from Extremadura, issued a statement last Monday calling for Rubiales’ resignation.

What consequences does the FIFA sanction have for Rubiales?

For FIFA, Rubiales’ actions could entail violations of articles 13.1 and 13.2 of its disciplinary code. These refer to offensive behaviour, violations of the principles of fair play or the basic rules of dignified conduct, as well as behaviors that bring football or FIFA a bad reputation. The definitive sanction will be given when the process initiated by FIFA ends, which can disqualify the president. At the moment, the precautionary suspension prevents Rubiales from exercising any position or activity related to soccer. In addition, he will stop receiving the 675,000 euros in salary from the federation and the 250,000 that he receives from UEFA, the body of which he is vice president. FIFA also prohibits Rubiales and any federation employee from having any kind of contact with the player.

What is the role of the Government?

The CSD, a body dependent on the Government of Spain, has requested the Administrative Court of Sport (TAD) to open a file on Rubiales for the non-consensual kiss to Jenni Hermoso and for her gesture in the box after Spain’s victory in the Women’s World Cup , understanding that they involve infractions for abuses of authority and acts against dignity and sporting decorum. Both the PSOE and Sumar (members of the acting coalition government) have strongly condemned Rubiales’ behavior and have expressed their desire to resolve the issue quickly.

For the CSD, Rubiales committed a “very serious” violation of the Sports Law and the Royal Decree on Sports Discipline, but they cannot suspend it until the TAD initiates the procedure against the president of the Federation, although he is already separated by the FIFA. Once the court admits the complaint for processing and in the event that this file is filed as a “very serious” offense, the government-dependent body may convene its board of directors within a period of 48 hours to propose the suspension of Rubiales until it is produce the final resolution of the TAD. You will not be able to suspend if it is initiated only as a “serious” offense. 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.

What is the TAD?

The TAD is the only body that handles the resolution of sports sanctions in Spain. The TAD depends on the CSD, but beyond the fact that four of its 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.

Promoted by the former president of the CSD Miguel Cardenal, since its creation in 2013 to replace the Spanish Committee for Sports Discipline, the TAD has been a source of controversy on several occasions. First in the conflicts between LaLiga, chaired by Tebas and the federation chaired by Villar and then in the contests that have already continued with Rubiales as federation president. This, when the decisions have not favored him, has not hesitated to criticize the TAD with federative statements. In the new Sports Law, the TAD is replaced by a new body more controlled by the sports federations.

Can Rubiales have problems with ordinary justice?

The other front that is open to the president (now suspended) 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 public ministry invited Jenni Hermoso to formalize her public complaint after the kiss from the president of the RFEF, something that she has not done at the moment.

If the player denounced, Rubiales could be exposed to a prison sentence. What happened would fit into article 178 of the Criminal Code, which provides for prison sentences of one to four years, as responsible for a crime of sexual assault.

And who is going to take the reins of the RFEF and how is it going to be decided?

The federation is a private organization that does not receive any public subsidy, so it claims to be autonomous. But it has delegated public functions, especially the representation of the country in international soccer competitions. The harsh meeting of the territorials reflected the division over a possible motion of no confidence in Rubiales, an extreme that the Madrid federation requested. Pedro Rocha, president of the Extremaduran federation, is now the interim president after being handpicked to the position when Rubiales dismissed the other five vice presidents before the last assembly. He will be the president of the Management Board, which must call elections.

If there is a motion of censure, an option that can be promoted by the territorial presidents, the position would be assumed by a manager on an interim basis until the date of the elections in which the new president of the RFEF is elected. The next elections are scheduled, for now, for the summer of 2024.

If Rubiales is dismissed from his responsibilities by an external body such as the Higher Sports Council, early elections for the presidency would be called immediately.

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