BarcelonaEven if Luis Rubiales has been temporarily suspended by FIFA since this Saturday, that the Spanish government has activated its machinery to disqualify him and that the territorial authorities want him out, he is still the president of the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF ). In fact, he still hopes to clean up his image through his family, which has made Motril (Granada) an informative center of interest for the hunger strike started by the character’s mother, Ángeles Béjar, in one of the churches of the population Also, and despite the fact that he cannot exercise the position due to the suspension of FIFA, he maintains his strong man in the federative offices, Andreu Camps, who will continue as general secretary of the RFEF until further notice, as explained to the ARA from your environment There is no certainty that the new current that wants to lead the interim Pedro Rocha wants to do without it.
This Tortoise technocrat is the executing arm of the clientelistic garden in which Rubiales has secured the support and loyalty, until this Monday, of 19 presidents of territorial federations in exchange for money, luxury experiences and succulent diets. From these prebends are born the applause of the assembly on Friday and the fact that, in the midst of controversy, the federations resisted withdrawing their confidence until this week. Camps, despite not feeling at all comfortable with what has happened since winning the World Cup, has the task of defending the entire structure with an interim in charge and no electoral scenario on the horizon.
A veteran of the offices (62 years), Camps has been secretary general of the RFEF since Rubiales assumed power in 2018 and, always in the background, has accompanied and advised him in all his decisions of a legal and economic nature. As proof of its impact and without going any further, in the controversial assembly on Friday the Andalusian president mentioned it when, in a dialectical frenzy, he proclaimed to the four winds the renewal of the women’s coach, Jorge Vilda, in exchange for 500,000 euros per year for four years. “I have activated the mechanisms for Andreu to start a negotiation with you so that you continue with us,” he stated.
Shortly after that attempt to demonstrate strength, Rubiales became aware of the movements of the Superior Sports Council (CSD), an institution that had traditionally protected him to act as a counterweight to the other great power of state football—the League of Javier Tebas—, to move his chair. The leader’s response was to activate his right-hand man, Camps, who sought the protection of UEFA, a body that has remained out of the controversy until now. The general secretary denounced that the intervention of the government of Pedro Sánchez goes against the statutes of the European state, which emphasize that “any body or decision of a body that has not been chosen without the influence of third parties will not be recognized” . The play, however, will not go as expected, despite the press blackout by Aleksander Ceferin, president of UEFA and friend of Rubiales.
Fields acted with this determination for the powers that Rubiales granted him. If during the mandate of Ángel María Villar (1988-2017) the vice-president Juan Padrón was his right-hand man, with the new presidency the RFEF placed the executive weight on a figure who earns 300,000 euros a year and who has Brigit Tenorio, a ex-partner of Rubiales, as secretary. “He is a kind of CEO who controls all the movements of the RFEF”, summarizes a source who knows how the character works, whom he defines as “a very serious person with a legal point of view”. During his term at the AFE (Association of Footballers of Spain), Rubiales met Camps when he was part of the TAD (Sports Administrative Court) and offered him the general secretaryship of the RFEF when he won at the polls
His appointment came as a surprise in the Spanish football environment, since Camps was an academic with no experience in sports management, which in the case of the RFEF is particularly complex due to the large number of issues that depend on it. However, over time it has accumulated influence to counteract scandals related to the estate, negotiate with the League or send amendments to the recently amended Sports Law. “He is one of the most privileged brains in Spanish sport,” a high-ranking State sports official told this newspaper.
Tomás González Cueto’s key assist
Doctor of law, expert in sports legislation and former director of the Lleida campus of the National Institute of Physical Education of Catalonia (INEFC), Camps controls the legal conduct of sport thanks to his experience at the TAD, but also because he is active member of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), the world body for sports justice. In addition, in his exercise at the RFEF, he has the external support of the lawyer Tomás González Cueto. “They have formed a tandem to protect Rubiales in front of Tebas,” a source who knows them tells ARA and defines them as a team to “bunker” assets as valuable as arbitration, women’s football or television rights. “Camps and Cueto have woven all the federal mechanisms to satisfy the president and, incidentally, guard the generously paid jobs. Most of the workers of the Federation have been hand-picked, without going through any selection process, and run the danger of unemployment if there are big changes,” adds the same person.
With Rubiales almost sentenced, it remains to be seen, therefore, whether he will continue to move the threads from the shadows.
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