Crisis Involving Luis Rubiales Casts Shadow on European Football’s Prestigious Monaco Gala

by Chloe Baker
UEFA awards gala

As European football’s governing body prepares for its annual award ceremony in Monaco this Thursday, it faces upheaval instigated by its Spanish vice president.

Luis Rubiales will be conspicuously absent from the luxurious event in Monte Carlo, where accolades for the best player and coach are slated to be presented. His absence is due to a suspension imposed by FIFA, the apex body for the sport. Spain is in a position to dominate the awards in the women’s football category.

Rubiales, holding dual roles as the president of the Spanish Football Federation and a vice president at UEFA, faces a minimum 90-day suspension by FIFA pending an investigation into a forced kiss he planted on Women’s World Cup winner Jenni Hermoso, as well as the ongoing repercussions of his behavior during the tournament’s final in Sydney, Australia.

UEFA has refrained from public comment for the past ten days, following the controversy sparked by Rubiales in Spain and beyond, exacerbated further by his adamant refusal to step down from his positions.

Additional Information on Luis Rubiales

His inappropriate conduct sparked outrage, initiated discussions on sexism, and even led to a hunger strike.
Key figures in the Spanish Football Federation have demanded Rubiales’ resignation due to his unprofessional behavior.
The mother of the embattled football administrator has commenced a hunger strike amid increasing calls for his departure.

Even after FIFA officially initiated a disciplinary case last Thursday, UEFA has not disclosed whether any actions have been taken against Rubiales, who draws an annual salary of 250,000 euros ($270,000) for his vice-presidential role at the organization.

Former England striker Ian Wright took to social media to criticize UEFA, utilizing strong language to express his disappointment over how the organization is neglecting women’s football, stating, “These are the people responsible for shaping the future of women’s football.”

For the women’s player of the year award in Europe for the 2022-23 season, either Aitana Bonmatí or Olga Carmona of Spain is anticipated to win, with Australia’s Sam Kerr also in contention.

Aitana Bonmatí’s successful year culminated in a World Cup title, a Golden Ball award, and a Champions League victory with Barcelona. However, her season commenced on a turbulent note as she was among 15 national players who signed a letter stating their refusal to play under Spain’s coach Jorge Vilda, citing detrimental effects on their mental well-being.

Vilda maintained his position thanks to Rubiales’ support but now faces the possibility of termination by the federation’s temporary leadership before the UEFA ceremony. He is one of three nominees for the women’s coaching award.

The award nominees were finalized by votes from coaches of top clubs and national women’s teams, as well as the media. This occurred concurrently with Rubiales declining to resign during an emergency meeting of the Spanish federation. FIFA imposed the suspension on Rubiales the following day, directing him and the federation to cease communication with Hermoso, citing their aggressive posturing, which included legal threats.

UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin is slated to make an appearance at the event, bestowing a lifetime achievement award upon German football legend Miroslav Klose. Ceferin, however, has not set aside time to address questions regarding the Spanish controversy. In a separate development, the Spanish federation is spearheading a bid, backed by UEFA, to host the 2030 World Cup, in collaboration with Portugal, Morocco, and potentially Ukraine.

For further coverage on football, visit AP soccer.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about UEFA awards gala

What is the main issue overshadowing the UEFA awards gala in Monaco?

The main issue overshadowing the event is the suspension of Luis Rubiales, the vice president of UEFA and president of the Spanish Football Federation, by FIFA for alleged misconduct.

Why is Luis Rubiales suspended?

Luis Rubiales is suspended by FIFA for a minimum of 90 days pending an investigation into a forced kiss he planted on Women’s World Cup winner Jenni Hermoso, as well as other concerns about his overall behavior during the tournament final in Sydney, Australia.

What is UEFA’s stance on the Rubiales issue?

As of the reporting date, UEFA has not made any public comments about the issue involving Rubiales, nor has it disclosed whether any disciplinary action has been taken against him.

Who are the key figures commenting on the situation?

Former England forward Ian Wright criticized UEFA’s handling of the situation, especially concerning women’s football. Leaders within the Spanish Football Federation have also called for Rubiales’ resignation.

What are the implications for the awards?

Either Aitana Bonmatí or Olga Carmona of Spain is likely to be named as the women’s player of the season in Europe for 2022-23, and Spain’s coach Jorge Vilda is among the nominees for the coaching award in women’s soccer. The Rubiales controversy could potentially cast a shadow over these achievements.

Will UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin address the issue?

Aleksander Ceferin is expected to attend the awards ceremony but is not scheduled to answer questions regarding the Rubiales controversy.

Is there a separate development involving the Spanish Football Federation?

Yes, the Spanish Football Federation is leading a UEFA-backed bid to host the 2030 World Cup, in partnership with Portugal, Morocco, and possibly Ukraine.

What are the sources for further information on this topic?

For further coverage, you can visit AP soccer.

More about UEFA awards gala

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SoccerFanatic August 30, 2023 - 3:25 pm

Just when we thought 2023 couldn’t get any crazier, Rubiales happens. Unreal that he still hasn’t resigned.

GlobalObserver August 30, 2023 - 3:53 pm

Should be interesting to see how this affects Spain’s 2030 World Cup bid. cant sweep things under the rug forever.

ConcernedCitizen August 30, 2023 - 5:43 pm

It’s just insane that Rubiales mom has to go on a hunger strike for this. She shouldn’t have to do that for people to listen.

AnalyticsGuru August 30, 2023 - 7:18 pm

Stats don’t lie. Rubiales making 250,000 euros and still behaving like this? Someone tell me how that’s justified.

JohnDoe2023 August 30, 2023 - 8:28 pm

Wow, UEFA really needs to get their act together. Suspended their own VP and still no comment? What are they thinkin’?

EqualPlay August 30, 2023 - 10:26 pm

UEFA’s silence on women’s issues, especially after the Rubiales fiasco, is deafening. When will they start taking women’s football seriously?

TruthSeeker August 30, 2023 - 11:50 pm

FIFA taking action is a good sign but what’s UEFA waiting for? Their credibility’s on the line here.

Football4Life August 31, 2023 - 2:18 am

Awards are supposed to be a celebration of talent. This whole Rubiales drama is taking the spotlight away from the players who deserve it.

SkepticalSally August 31, 2023 - 10:19 am

Honestly, this just confirms what many of us have suspected about sports governance for a long time. It’s all a mess.


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