BarcelonaThe Sports Administrative Court (TAD) has accepted the complaints against Luis Rubiales that the Superior Sports Council (CSD) raised last Friday after the president of the RFEF – since Saturday, temporarily disqualified by the FIFA – delivered an astonishing speech at the extraordinary assembly of the Spanish Football Federation in which he did not resign and said that Jennifer Hermoso, the victim of his non-consensual kiss, was lying. But the TAD considers the two alleged violations of Rubiales as “serious” and not as “very serious” as requested by the CSD. This means that now the Spanish government cannot ask for the temporary disqualification of Rubiales and that the maximum penalty that can fall on him is two years of disqualification – and the minimum, one month. If they had been considered as “very serious” offences, the penalty could have been from two to fifteen years.
The reaction of the Spanish government was not long in coming. It had been just over an hour since the decision of the TAD had been made public when the Minister of Sports, Miquel Iceta, appeared in a press conference from the government’s delegation in Catalonia. “Our intention was to ask for the temporary suspension of Rubiales once the complaint was processed by the TAD as very serious, but it cannot be that way because it has considered it as serious”, lamented Iceta.
Anyway, the Minister of Sports has informed that “in application of article 102 of the sports law, the CSD will immediately ask the TAD to temporarily suspend Rubiales of his own will” while he carries out the sanctioning procedure that started today. He also said that “the criteria of the CSD and the government continues to consider that the facts are very serious because there has been an abuse of authority and damage to the image of our football”, and he added that “the president of the CSD has asked its legal services to adopt other measures”, such as studying the possibility of appealing to the administrative litigation route the decision that the TAD adopted this Friday.
Iceta: “It’s over. The CSD, the government, the players, FIFA, national and international public opinion, and the territorial federations have said so”
“It’s over. The CSD, the government, the players, FIFA, national and international public opinion, and the territorial federations have said so. In the words of Aitana Bonmatí – referring to the speech that the soccer player from Barça and the Spanish national team did yesterday at the UEFA gala after receiving the award for best player -, as a society we cannot allow there to be an abuse of power in labor relations and disrespect”, Iceta assured .
Once Iceta’s appearance this Friday ended, Rubiales himself issued a statement in which he said that “he continues to trust the bodies where this action should be taken, despite the fact that political and certain media pressure is both interested and brutal and that the information on this matter is being the subject of a multitude of manipulations, lies and censorship”. And he added: “I will continue to defend myself to prove the truth. In the name of feminism, we should not try to sink a man – or a woman – without a fair trial. Equality means identical rights for all. The justice is applied to people without gender having to predetermine the outcome.” In addition, he has continued to insist that his kiss to Jennifer Hermoso “was a mutual and consensual act” and that he will provide evidence.
TAD, slower than FIFA
The movement of the TAD, which will now have to decide whether or not to accept the CSD’s request, has come almost a week after FIFA, which had previously opened a disciplinary file against the manager, temporarily suspended Rubiales for three months from any activity related to football at the national and international level. This slowness in moving the table by the CSD and the TAD compared to the highest body of international football led this week to some criticism of the two estates that Iceta tried to appease on Tuesday by explaining that the CSD would respond quickly to the request of clarifications that the TAD had given him, as it was.
This additional information consisted of the statements issued on the matter by the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF), the footballer Jennifer Hermoso and the FutPro union, which defends the interests of the player, as well as the documentation attached to the complaint submitted by the League Women’s Football Professional (LPFF). “We must defend the image of Spanish sport and we will be belligerents”, Iceta had assured on Tuesday. For his part, Víctor Francos, the president of the CSD, had previously considered that “the appearance of Rubiales – at the extraordinary assembly – was a fraud for the government, for the footballers and for society”.
Rubiales has been left without a salary and without an official car
The provisional suspension of FIFA, which remains fully in force despite the decision of the TAD, also meant that Rubiales has been left without a salary, without an official car and without being able to use any of the benefits he enjoyed as president of the Spanish Football Federation. It was decided by the committee of territorial presidents of the RFEF on Monday, within the framework of the “internal protocols” that it is activating. Since last Saturday and for at least 90 days, Rubiales will not be able to collect the proportional part of his net annual salary of 371,000 euros as president of the RFEF, nor the 250,000 euros he receives from UEFA. In addition, he will have to return all electronic devices financed by the Federation that he may have because of his status as president. This includes personal computers, tablets and mobile phones.