Spanish football referee Luis Manuel Rubiales Béjar was a former professional defender who was born on August 23, 1977. The Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF), of which he is the president. He played in 53 La Liga games over three seasons and was known for not having great skill but being persistent.
After being born in Las Palmas, the Canary Islands, Rubiales was raised in Motril, Granada. He played for a number of clubs in Spain, mostly in the Segunda División, including Guadix CF, RCD Mallorca B, UE Lleida, Xerez CD, Levante UD (promoted to La Liga in 2004 and 2006), and Alicante CF.
In a 1-1 away draw against Real Sociedad on August 29, 2004, he made his top-flight debut in Spain as a late replacement.
Rubiales signed a one-year contract on August 4, 2009, according to Hamilton Academical of the Scottish Premier League. However, he only made four official league games before leaving the club and returning to his country.
Rubiales was chosen as the Association of Spanish Footballers (AFE)’s president in March 2010 despite being retired. He left his position in November 2017 with the intention of running for president of the Royal Spanish Football Federation; he was chosen to serve in that position in May 2018.
One of his first acts as president was to fire Spain’s head coach Julen Lopetegui just before the 2018 FIFA World Cup, despite the fact that Lopetegui had not been informed of his negotiations to replace Real Madrid manager Pep Guardiola.
In an interview he delivered on September 8, 2018, Rubiales criticized the president of the Spanish League, Javier Tebas, for agreeing to a deal that would have games played in the United States. In the former’s explanation, the deal was described as “worthless”
The RFEF declared Levante FC, now known as Levante UD, the equivalent of winning the Copa del Rey on March 25, 2023. Levante FC won the 1937 Copa de la Espaa Libre. Before Levante’s match against Real Zaragoza on March 31, Rubiales then gave the trophy to Vicente Iborra, the team’s captain for 2023.
The Supercopa Files, which comprised conversations between Rubiales and the player and entrepreneur Gerard Piqué that took place in 2019, were leaked documents and audio files that were published by the Spanish digital publication El Confidencial on 18 April 2022. In these audio files, Rubiales and Piqué discuss paying Piqué some commissions for representing Spain at the Supercopa de Arabia. One of the requirements for these commissions was that Barcelona (Piqué’s former club) and Real Madrid have to be represented by two of the four participating teams. Given the variable portion of his compensation in the federation, Rubiales would also profit from these commissions. These audio files’ disclosure caused a well-known controversy and necessitated an explanation from both Piqué and Luis Rubiales.
A WhatsApp conversation in which Rubiales disparaged various Spanish football teams was revealed by El Confidencial in October 2022. He claimed to despise Villarreal, Sevilla, and Valencia and expressed sympathy for Atlético Madrid since they are “jinxed” in addition to saying he detested those three teams.
Backlash against sexual assault
Following the celebrations, Rubiales came under fire for acting impolitely, and high-ranking government officials called for his resignation. In a formal statement, the AFE warned that if he didn’t quit right away, they would demand that the Sports Law be applied to him. He reportedly pleaded with Hermoso to join him in an apologetic video, while Jorge Vilda repeatedly implored Hermoso’s family to come out in favor of Rubiales, according to Grupo Vocento’s Relevo.
In addition, Hermoso made a fake statement that was forwarded by RFEF to Agencia EFE in support of Rubiales’ actions. Hermoso requested that RFEF ensure the rights of [Futpro] players and take exemplary action through her players’ union, Futpro, without specifically addressing Rubiales.
The RFEF declared that it would host a last-minute Extraordinary General Assembly on August 25 as a result of intense pressure. He was the subject of disciplinary action beginning on August 24 by the FIFA Disciplinary Committee. Rubiales adamantly refused to quit during the RFEF’s emergency Extraordinary General Assembly, despite prior reports claiming he would.