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Spain pledges to fix 'unacceptable' state of football federation

AFP
AFP - [email protected]
Spain pledges to fix 'unacceptable' state of football federation
Spanish RFEF football federation president Pedro Rocha arrives at the Majadahonda court to testify as a witness in front of a judge investigating allegedly irregular contracts linked to the former federation president, in Madrid on April 12, 2024. (Photo by JAVIER SORIANO / AFP)

The Spanish government pledged Tuesday to fix the country's scandal-struck football federation (RFEF) which they said is in an "unacceptable situation".

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President Luis Rubiales resigned in disgrace last September after his forcible kiss on the lips of Women's World Cup winner Jenni Hermoso, and is now being investigated in a corruption probe.

The only candidate to replace Rubiales, Pedro Rocha, is also being investigated, while a report from the country's leading sports court (TAD) said the RFEF had taken decisions "beyond its remit".

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"The High Council for Sports (CSD) and the government are going to do everything in their power to rectify this unacceptable situation," said Jose Manuel Uribes, president of the CSD and Secretary of State for Sport.

According to Spanish media, the sports court found the RFEF management committee -- which stepped in after Rubiales resigned -- had taken actions it was not permitted to take, including renewing men's team coach Luis de la Fuente's contract.

"Following the resolution (of TAD), which describes the actions of the (RFEF) president and the Management Committee in recent months as very serious, I am going to call a meeting of the board of directors in the next few days to take a decision," said Uribes.

The CSD could then declare Rocha -- vice-president under Luis Rubiales and then the RFEF's interim chief -- ineligible to be president, although he is the only candidate for the elections on May 6th.

At the heart of the corruption investigation is the lucrative contract signed by Rubiales to relocate the Spanish Supercup to Saudi Arabia.

"It is in the interests of the government that the investigation gets to the bottom of things," added Uribes.

However, he insisted the scandals would "not at all" impact Spain's hosting of the 2030 World Cup.

"I am speaking with FIFA nearly every day, I think there's never been such fluid communication," he added.

"They are certain that Spain is a country that knows how to organise things ... the World Cup is not in danger."

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