Pedro Rocha: Why Spain's new football federation president is already under scrutiny


Pedro Rocha: Why Spain's new football federation president is already under scrutiny

Festus Chuma 10:45 - 27.04.2024

Spain's RFEF have appointed Pedro Rocha as president amid ongoing investigations following his predecessor's resignation due to a separate scandal.

The Spanish football federation (RFEF) has come under renewed scrutiny following the appointment of Pedro Rocha as its new president amidst ongoing investigations into alleged corruption within the federation's ranks.

 Rocha, 69, steps into a role shadowed by controversy after his predecessor, Luis Rubiales, resigned amid serious allegations, including a non-consensual incident involving Spain forward Jenni Hermoso.

Pedro Rocha, previously serving as interim president since Rubiales' resignation in September, has been officially declared the president after a vote by the RFEF's electoral commission. 

"Pedro Rocha has today been proclaimed the new president of the Royal Spanish Football Federation, after having received the support of the majority of the assembly members of this institution that governs Spanish football," announced the federation.

Despite this endorsement, Rocha's ascension comes at a time of intense scrutiny. He was placed under investigation following his involvement as a witness in the corruption probe targeting Rubiales.

 Rocha has consistently denied any involvement or knowledge of the misdeeds under investigation. 

"I have no knowledge nor, therefore, any responsibility for the facts that are being investigated,” he stated during his testimony.

The Spanish government has not taken these developments lightly. On Thursday, a special committee was formed by the National Sports Council (CSD) to oversee the federation until new elections can be organized. 

This move reflects growing concerns about governance and ethics in Spanish football, particularly after Rubiales' arrest earlier this month over allegations of receiving illegal commissions related to the Spanish Super Cup's staging in Saudi Arabia.

Rubiales, who also faces a trial for sexual assault following the non-consensual kiss with Hermoso after the Women's World Cup final, has denied any wrongdoing.

 The controversy has cast a long shadow over Spanish football, even as the national team celebrated their 2023 Women's World Cup victory and began preparations for co-hosting the 2030 Men's World Cup.

The CSD has postponed its decision on whether to suspend Rocha until Tuesday, pending disciplinary proceedings. 

The outcome of these proceedings, to be adjudicated by the Administrative Court of Sport (TAD) in the coming weeks will likely have significant implications for Rocha's tenure and the broader leadership structure of the RFEF.

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