Spanish clubs slam federation president over leaked texts

AP , Tuesday 11 Oct 2022

Sevilla, Villarreal and Valencia are demanding an apology from the president of the Spanish soccer federation after he allegedly said in leaked text messages that those clubs are his least favorite.

Luis Rubiales
President of the Spanish Football Federation Luis Rubiales reacts during a press conference to announce Spain, Portugal and Ukraine s bid for the 2030 World Cup at the UEFA headquarters in Nyon on October 5, 2022. AFP


The alleged messages sent by Luis Rubiales were revealed Tuesday by the newspaper El Confidencial.

The clubs released a joint statement to ``condemn the gross disrespect shown by the president.''

``The conversations, in which he speaks with such contempt, animosity and arrogance toward the three clubs, are unacceptable coming from a person who holds a position of such responsibility and who must safeguard the interests of all the clubs in Spanish football equally,'' the clubs said.

They said they are concerned with the ``possible consequences that his attitude could have for the clubs, as his behavior is not conducive to transparency within the competition.''

The clubs urged Rubiales to ``put things right and publicly apologize to the three clubs and their fans.''

The federation did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Rubiales and the federation have not made any public statements about the clubs' demands.

Rubiales, a UEFA vice-president, is leading Spain and Portugal's joint bid to host the 2030 World Cup.

The outspoken official is known as a hardliner and is often involved in controversies.

Audios previously released by El Confidencial showed that Rubiales and former Spain defender Gerard Pique allegedly negotiated details of a lucrative deal to take the Spanish Super Cup to Saudi Arabia. Both have denied wrongdoing in the negotiations.

Rubiales last month denied accusations by a former employee that federation funds went to pay for a party with ``young ladies'' and to hire a detective to investigate the head of Spain's players' union.

The federation also has been accused of investigating journalists, and not long after taking over the presidency, Rubiales fired men's national team coach Julen Lopetegui just a few days before the 2018 World Cup because Lopetegui took a job with Real Madrid without telling federation officials in advance.

He recently also got into a dispute with players of the women's national team and is often at odds with Spanish league president Javier Tebas.

Rubiales is a former player and head of Spain's players' union.

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