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Spanish federation chief to quit over kiss scandal

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FIFA Women's World Cup Australia and New Zealand 2023 - Spain's Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez receive the World Cup champions - Moncloa Palace, Madrid, Spain - August 22, 2023 President of the Royal Spanish Football Federation Luis Rubiales during the ceremony REUTERS/Juan Medina Acquire Licensing Rights

Spanish football federation (RFEF) President Luis Rubiales plans to resign on Friday after FIFA opened disciplinary proceedings against him over his unsolicited kiss on the mouth of player Jenni Hermoso during celebrations after Spain’s Women’s World Cup victory, Cadena Ser radio reported on Thursday.

Rubiales has been under fire after kissing Hermoso on the lips while handing the team their medals after they beat England 1-0 in the final in Sydney on Sunday.

The incident sparked outrage within and outside Spain, with many, including government ministers, demanding his resignation.

Pressure continued to mount during the week after FIFA opened disciplinary proceedings against Rubiales and Hermoso said in statement that such acts “should never go unpunished”.

As the backlash grew, Rubiales, who initially called his critics “idiots”, issued a video apology late on Monday, but it failed to quell the uproar.

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An RFEF spokesperson declined to comment.

Regional leaders of the RFEF held a crisis meeting in Madrid on Thursday to discuss Rubiales’s future and options for a potential successor, a source told Reuters.

The favourites to succeed Rubiales are Pedro Rocha, head of the Extremadura football federation, and Pablo Lozano, head of the Andalusia federation, the source said.

Rubiales, who played for several lower league clubs in Spain, finished his playing career in 2009 with Hamilton Academical in Scotland.

A year later he was named President of the Association of Spanish Footballers (AFE), a position he held until announcing his candidacy for the RFEF top job in 2017. He was elected in May 2018.

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He promised to modernise the structure, increase turnover and make the federation more transparent, following the arrest of former president Angel Maria Villar on corruption charges.

However, Rubiales’ mandate was full of controversies, including the shocking decision to sack Spain manager Julen Lopetegui two days before their opening 2018 World Cup match and accusations of wrongdoing over a multimillion-euro deal to relocate the Spanish Super Cup to Saudi Arabia.

There was also a mutiny within the Spain women’s squad last September, when a large group of players demanded that long-standing coach Jorge Vilda be sacked. The RFEF backed Vilda and he cut 12 of the 15 players involved in the dispute from his World Cup squad.

-Reuters

 

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Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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Governing Bodies

CAF looking for hosts for CAF Awards, Women Champions League and youth tournaments

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After eventually fixing dates for Africa Cup of Nations 2025 and the 2024 Women’s Africa Cup of Nations, the Confederation of African Football still have major hurdles to scale.

The confederation is looking for hosts for the CAF Women’s Champions League, the U-17 and U-20 AFCON as well as the CAF Awards 2024. Morocco were the hosts for the last editions of the CAF Awards and Women’s Champions League. The confederation which opened the bids hopes to get possible responses by the time of the 46th CAF Ordinary General Assembly in Kinshasa, DR Congo on Thursday 10 October 2024.

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Governing Bodies

CAF Executive Committee to meet on Friday

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CAF President Motsepe Fails To Confirm Dates For 2025 AFCON -

Plunged with myriad of issues especially concerning regular fixtures of the Africa Cup of Nations 2025 as well as the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations 2024 both of which are to be held in Morocco, the  Confédération Africaine de Football CAF Executive Committee  will hold a virtual meeting on Friday.

It is expected that the congested fixtures occasioned by the women’s football event of the Paris 2024 Olympics as well as the enlarged FIFA Club World Cup 2025 will be discussed.

Till now,neither hosts nor period has been allocated for the Women’s Club Champions League which is supposed to be an annual event.

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Governing Bodies

Samuel Eto’o apologises and reinstates Cameroon coach Brys

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Former Cameroonian star forward and now football federation president Samuel Eto’o apologised Thursday to national team coach Marc Brys, with whom he had been involved in a heated exchange this week.

The ex-Barcelona striker also confirmed Brys would remain in his position after it was announced the Belgian was to be replaced as head coach of Cameroon on Wednesday.

“I apologise because during our first unfortunate meeting, there was a lot of emotion… but the Cameroonian people are more important than us, and it is for them that we must work,” said Eto’o at a press conference.

Eto’o was referring to an incident captured on video during his first meeting with Brys, which was widely shared on social media Tuesday.

The pair were seen to engage in a heated argument, before Brys left abruptly.

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“Your mission is not an easy one, despite your qualities and experience, but you should know that you will have our support,” added the two-time Africa Cup of Nations winner.

Brys was appointed to the role in April by Cameroon’s sport ministry, much to the astonishment of the country’s football federation (Fecafoot) and its president Eto’o wrote to the ministry to denounce its “illegal” appointment of the 62-year-old.

Fecafoot said it regretted not being involved “closely, nor remotely” in the selection process for the new coach and his staff.

Belgian Brys will now oversee Cameroon’s next two crucial matches in the 2026 World Cup qualifiers, against Cape Verde on June 8 and Angola three days later.

-AFP

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