The crisis in Spanish football escalates as the women’s World Cup-winning team calls for additional changes within the scandal-plagued RFEF federation. This development follows the appearance of the federation’s former leader, Luis Rubiales, in court facing sexual assault charges for kissing midfielder Jenni Hermoso.
Player Protest and Demands: Almost all of Spain’s 23 World Cup players have declared their refusal to represent the national team unless deeper reforms are implemented within the RFEF. They specifically demand the resignation of the current interim head, Pedro Rocha, who assumed the role after FIFA suspended Rubiales. The players contend that the changes made thus far are insufficient.
Federation’s Response: While the players call for fundamental shifts in RFEF leadership, the federation insists that Rocha will oversee the transition process until the next election, emphasizing a gradual approach to changes. A potential leadership election may occur early next year, according to federation sources.
Rubiales’ Court Appearance: Earlier, Rubiales appeared in court to address the allegations of the non-consensual kiss. Following a closed-door hearing, the judge ordered Rubiales to maintain a 200-meter distance from Hermoso and prohibited any contact with the player. Rubiales reiterated his claim that the kiss was consensual.
Legal Proceedings and Potential Outcomes: Hermoso is expected to testify before the judge in the future, after which a decision will be made regarding the prosecution. The charges against Rubiales include sexual assault and coercion. If convicted, he could face penalties ranging from a fine to up to four years in prison.
Conclusion: The turmoil within the RFEF continues to unfold, with players and officials embroiled in a battle for reforms and accountability. The outcome of this crisis will have far-reaching implications for Spanish football and the broader sports community.