Spanish football federation sets May 6 date for presidential elections

Spanish football federation sets May 6 date for presidential elections

© AFP 2022
April 3, 2024 at 6:14 PM
Former president of the Spanish football federation Luis Rubiales leaving the Audiencia Nacional court in Madrid on September 15, 2023
Former president of the Spanish football federation Luis Rubiales leaving the Audiencia Nacional court in Madrid on September 15, 2023. Photo: Thomas COEX / AFP/File
Source: AFP

The Spanish football federation (RFEF) announced Wednesday that elections for its new president will take place on May 6, to find the successor of the disgraced Luis Rubiales.

The head of the management commission overseeing the RFEF following Rubiales' resignation, Pedro Rocha, stepped down from the commission in order to run in the elections -- of which he is the leading candidate, according to Spanish media.

Local media expect his principal opponent to be Eva Parera, a lawyer with an expertise in sports law.

Ex-president Rubiales was forced to step down as RFEF boss in September after forcibly kissing Women's World Cup star Jenni Hermoso following Spain's triumph in the Sydney final in August.

During Wednesday's meeting, the RFEF management commission also decided to "initiate criminal proceedings against all those who may have caused economic or reputational damage to the institution".

The decision comes in the wake of the alleged graft scandal at the RFEF when Rubiales was president.

Several members of the federation, including Rubiales, are being investigated as part of a probe into alleged corruption and other crimes.

Earlier on Wednesday, Rubiales was detained at Madrid's Barajas airport shortly after flying in from the Dominican Republic but released shortly afterwards as part of the probe.

His arrest came two weeks after investigators searched 11 locations, including the RFEF's Madrid headquarters and Rubiales' house in the southern city of Granada, as part of "an investigation linked to presumed crimes linked with corruption in business, fraudulent administration and money laundering", according to judicial sources.

A day after the March 20 raids, the RFEF sacked its legal director Pedro Gonzalez Segura, head of human resources Jose Javier Jimenez and terminated its contract with GC Legal, the law firm of the federation's external legal adviser Tomas Gonzalez Cueto.

All three had been arrested by police during the raids.

Spanish media reports said investigators were looking into RFEF contracts signed since 2018, including one signed by Rubiales to take the Spanish Super Cup to Saudi Arabia.

The RFEF said Wednesday that it had authorised an audit for the period 2018-2023 -- the five-year span linked to the graft scandal.

"The Management Committee... has also given the green light to a forensic audit that will allow information to be gathered on the actions that are being investigated during the period 2018-2023," the RFEF wrote in a statement on its site.

"The intention is to help bring to light all the facts surrounding the matter and for the case to proceed to court, allowing for a final resolution and for the institution to turn the page on a turbulent period that has seriously damaged the image of Spanish football."

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© AFP 2022 photo
© AFP 2022