The future of Spanish football boss Luis Rubiales, already suspended for 90 days by FIFA after his forced kiss on international Jenni Hermoso, now depends on Spanish justice, which could decide on Monday to extend this period.
The Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) has for its part convened 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, FIFA, the governing body of world football, decided on Saturday to suspend for 90 days the president of the RFEF “from all football-related activity at national and international level”.
The Spanish government, for its part, has asked the Spanish Administrative Court for Sports (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, Saturday.
This suspension could be added to that of FIFA, beyond the provisional period set at 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 law specialist Toni Roca said in an interview on Sunday. on Spanish public television.
The deserted selection
Rubiales, 46, sparked international outrage when she forced a kiss on the mouth of Jenni Hermoso on August 20 during the medal ceremony for the Women’s World Cup won by La Roja.
After the announcement on Friday of the 23 players of the selection of their refusal to play again under his presidency, six members of the management of the women’s team of Spain presented their resignation 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. “I regret that the victory of women’s football has been tarnished by the inappropriate behavior that our most senior leader to date, Luis Rubiales, has shown and himself admitted,” he said in a statement taken from Saturday evening. by several Spanish media.
Rain of criticism, from Iniesta to Natalie Portman
As the scandal made headlines in Spain and abroad, reactions of support for Hermoso multiplied in the sporting, cultural and political world.
On Sunday, Spanish football legend Andrés Iniesta tackled Rubiales’ behavior. “We cannot tolerate acts like those we have seen […] We had to put up with a president who clung to his post, who did not admit that his behavior was unacceptable and was damaging the image of our country and our football in the world,” he wrote. on X (formerly Twitter).
Israeli-American actress Natalie Portman also showed her support for Jenni Hermoso on Instagram on Sunday.
The day before, several club players, such as those of Sevilla FC, had already 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 media.
Several French, American, English and German internationals, including soccer superstar Megan Rapinoe, have also affirmed their solidarity with the Spanish world champion.
On the criminal level, the boss of Spanish football was the subject of four complaints of sexual assault received by the Spanish public prosecutor’s office on Friday, but none come from the player for the moment, and they therefore have little chance of succeeding.
Against all expectations, Luis Rubiales had refused to resign on Friday during an extraordinary general meeting of the RFEF, and had counter-attacked by affirming that this kiss was “consented”.
What the player denied. “I felt vulnerable and the victim of an aggression, an impulsive and sexist act, inappropriate 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, the federation repeated that Jenni Hermoso “lies in all her statements against the president”, before removing it from her website. The RFEF also indicated that Pedro Rocha Junco, vice-president, would ensure the interim at the head of the Federation during the suspension of his boss.
On Sunday, the RFEF’s delegate for protection against sexual violence clarified, in a press release from the federation, that she was in the middle of an “investigation process”.