Conflict of Interest and Ethics in Sports: Spain and the Rubiales Case

Conflict of Interest and Ethics in Sports: Spain and the Rubiales Case

During the month of May 2022, Spain has been flooded with audio recordings of various different meetings and calls between Luis Rubiales (ex-football player and current President of the Royal Spanish Football Federation - RFEF) and various other football figures (most famously, Gerard Piqué, current player of FC Barcelona and part-owner of FC Andorra) that have put in question the behavior of the President and raised questions regarding the existence of a conflict of interest. The current article aims to analyze the legal context of the consequences of the publicly known actions to analyze what the near future may hold for the RFEF.

What has happened?

Mr Rubiales was elected in May 2018, after which he stated, in his first speech after being elected President, “I am going to create a Federation for everyone, but a better Federation, an elite one, transparent, that takes care of modest football. This is a plural project, which will have control.” This was due to his predecessor being disqualified after 29 years in his position. Four years after the said speech, Mr Rubiales’ management is under question after certain alleged maneuvers have come to light through audio recordings.

The revealed irregularities mostly come from actions...

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