After the increase in the controversies carried out by the president of the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF), Luis Rubiales, for the publication of his private conversations with different people and for his decisions that for many are incomprehensible, today in ‘Elcierredigital.com ‘ we want to review the mandate of the last presidents of the Spanish Football Federation, who have not been exempt from controversy.
Given the daily controversies in which the current president of the Spanish Football Federation Luis Rubiales always seems to be the protagonist, this medium wants to remember how his mandate has been since its inception and how that of his predecessors was, which on many occasions was also marked by controversy and corruption.
Luis Rubiales began his candidacy as president of the RFEF with the purpose of “converting the Royal Spanish Football Federation into an elite, transparent federation that takes care of modest football”, according to what he said in his first speech, after beating Juan Luis Larrea, in May 2018.
However, in more than four years of mandate the successes of Rubiales have been less than the controversies that has unleashed his leadership. During this time, the one from Motril has starred in one of the most scandalous dismissals in the history of the World Cups, maintains an all-out war against Javier Tebas and has turned all of Spanish football upside down with the changes in the competitions and with the businesses that he has made with the Barça footballer Gerard Piqué.
The first problem during his mandate was the episode lived with Julen Lopetegui in the 2018 World Cup in Russia. Rubiales decided to fire the Spanish coach with two days to go before the World Championship began for having negotiated behind his back with Real Madrid and not notifying him of the agreement signed until five minutes before it was announced by the meringue club Finally, the team was defeated in the round of 16 by the host team.
In addition, during that same season he also began his confrontation with Javier Tebas, the boss of La Liga, with whom he must collaborate and ensure the growth of Spanish football, but nevertheless both maintain a power struggle that has reached the courts.
Another of the decisions that has brought more controversy is to export the Spanish Super Cup out definitively. Rubiales signed an agreement for this competition to change its format and be held in Saudi Arabia, in an authoritarian Islamic regime where feminism, atheism and homosexuality were punished with imprisonment and flogging.
In addition, this controversy has affected Rubiales twice since the president of the Federation agreed with Gerard Piqué to collect a multimillion-dollar commission for the transfer of the Spanish Super Cup to Saudi Arabia. Rubiales even came to pressure the Riyadh authorities to pay the FC Barcelona player up to 24 million euros for playing the tournament in that country and then tried to hide the participation of the culé player in the contract.
At present, the complaints about the RFEF’s management by Rubiales are on the rise. The fans denounce that their ways of acting the only criterion that follows is that of the economic benefitsomething that can be verified with his very high salary, which he does not hesitate to climb whenever he can and which now revolves around the 680,000 euros per year.
Angel Maria Villar
The president of the RFEF prior to Rubiales was Angel Maria Villar the longest serving president. Regarding his career, it should be noted that he was marked by the successes achieved and by the controversy that marked the end of his term.
Villar was re-elected up to six times as President of the RFEF (1992, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008, 2012 and 2017). In the 29 years Villar has held the position have coincided with the greatest triumphs of our National Team. Both in the lower categories, where has won everything as the absolute one, which at this stage won the gold medal at the Barcelona Olympics (1992), two European Championships (2008 and 2012) and the World Cup in South Africa (2010).
However, not everything was good during almost these thirty years. Many former employees, authorities and organizations criticized and even they denounced the management de Villar in several areas, among which stand out: the operation and designation in the arbitration group, the subsidies received, the aid offered to clubs, or the legality of his continuity in office for so long.
Angel Maria Villar.
Finally, his departure from the presidency came in the worst possible way. On July 18, 2017, Ángel María, together with his son Gorka Already John Padron, economic vice president of the RFEF, were arrested by the Civil Guard, for a case of corruption within the ‘Operation Soule‘, intended to uncover alleged corruption crimes between individuals, falsehood, unfair administration and misappropriation of capital.
For this reason, Villar would enter the Soto del Real prison, although he would be released in less than a month thanks to the payment of bail. But in December of that same year, Villar would be dismissed by the TAD understanding that the last elections had not been neutral. Placing, in this way, Juan Luis Larrea in his position temporarily, who in less than a year would lose the elections against Rubiales, because the Federation needed a facelift and new energies.
Joseph Louis Rock
The predecessor to Ángel María Villar in the presidency of the Royal Spanish Football Federation was Joseph Louis Rockan Aragonese businessman who led this organization from 1984 to 1988. During these four years, Roca had a mandate marked by the difficulty of succeeding Pablo Porta, and by the lack of supports.
Roca at no time had the support of the Administration, the Minister of Culture did not respond to his requests for an audience and in addition, both the Professional League and the Soccer Players Association (AFE) they took him as their enemy. In addition, during his mandate, his companions, the presidents of territorial federations, who promoted him to his position, withdrew their support from him.
Paul Gate was the president of the RFEF between 1975 and 1984, thus being the longest-lasting president until the arrival of Villar. His mandate stood out for the controversy and for the way in which he left office.
In 1975 he became president by appointment of the regime, and the following year, already without Franco, he was elected in the first democratic elections of the RFEF. Of course, as a single candidate. In 1981 he began a third term with the great challenge of organizing the 1982 World Cup, and he successfully solved it.
However, Pablo Porta’s leadership of the RFEF is best remembered for the highly controversial dispute between sports journalist J.ose Maria Garciawho launched a campaign against the leader.
García popularized the phrase “Pablo, Pablito, Pablete”, in constant accusations of corruption to the then president of the Federation. One of the most notorious cases was when García published that Porta’s driver took the leader’s dog for a walk and Porta sued him for intruding on honor, personal and family privacy and his own image. The journalist was sentenced to pay 5 million of the old pesetas to Porta, but finally the sentence was annulled.