UEFA leader Aleksander Ceferin says Rubiales was fighting “a battle he could not win” when he tried to avoid dismissal but, even as a lawyer, he separates the sporting and legal aspects.
A call, an idea, a sentence, a dismissal. Luis Rubiales tried to resist all internal and international pressure to resign, having even made what was the last public “issue” by letting all the Spanish newspapers write that he would present his resignation at the Extraordinary General Assembly of the Royal Spanish Federation of Soccer. go up to the podium and say “I will not resign.” Once, twice, three times: “No, I don’t resign.” Three weeks later, unexpectedly when he was already suspended for 90 days by FIFA, he backtracked in an interview with Piers Morgan. What has changed? A call. According to Marca, Aleksander Ceferin, UEFA leader, issued an ultimatum that definitively put the Spanish leader in a dead end. “Either you resign or I resign,” he said. And it really came to light.
Since the controversy began with Rubiales’ kiss to Jenni Hermoso after Spain won the Women’s World Cup, UEFA has been one of the most cautious organizations in terms of reactions. Still, at the end of August, the president who oversees European football said what he could about the case in an interview with L’Équipe. “What he did was inappropriate, we all know that. I hope you know it was inappropriate. That’s enough to say at this point because the Disciplinary Committee will decide what happened. I am a lawyer and one of the vice presidents of FIFA, any additional comments I make may seem like pressure. I can only say that it made me sad that a feat like the one achieved with the victory of the Spanish team ended up being overshadowed by this. We have to change things,” he highlighted.
Now, in an interview with the Slovenian television channel N1, Ceferin returned to address the case with the movement of moving towards the dismissal of Rubiales in order to separate the waters between what is at stake. “What Luis Rubiales did was inappropriate and incomprehensible. Still, when I read that what he did was a serious crime and a criminal offense… As a criminal lawyer, this seems illogical to me. The journalists also ended up taking the story to this level of importance,” said the UEFA leader. “It was a battle that I could not win, I could not continue as president of the RFEF,” he added.
“We need a code of conduct that clearly establishes all the limits of what is acceptable behavior and determines the consequences when the line is crossed,” said Ceferin, who admitted the lack of changes in the prevailing culture in football in relation to women. “In Europe we only have three women as presidents of national football associations among 52 leaders. “It really is a fact, there are very few female managers in football,” The president of UEFA took office.
In parallel, Ceferin also addressed the new El Dorado in Saudi Arabia, relativizing what its weight could be at the European level. “I think this story will be relatively short. I have said many times that this is the wrong approach to football development, Football does not develop by incorporating players who have practically finished their careers in Europe. China tried to do this a few years ago and their team did not qualify for the World Cup. I don’t think we should take any action against any league. The numbers are probably a little higher today, but I don’t see young stars like Erling Haaland or Kylian Mbappé interested in moving to the Saudi Arabian league,” he highlighted.
“Our football is really fantastic. Our research and studies show that people follow two things: their club or team and competitions. If your favorite player goes to Mars, you will stop following him. This type of news is only interesting for the transfer market,” he concluded.