It was the key piece. If he fell, the restructuring of Spanish football would be possible. And the stage of Luis Rubiales at the head of the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) would be concluded. And it fell. The interim president of the federation, Pedro Rocha, assumed on Wednesday the commitment reached with the players of the Spanish team the night before and executed the dismissal of Andreu Camps, general secretary.
With his dismissal, the RFEF begins the deep restructuring that the players demanded to return to dress short. The departure of Camps comes a day after the Government, through the figure of the president of the Higher Sports Council (CSD), Víctor Francos, and the federation, managed to unlock the internal crisis experienced by the body that governs Spanish football since the already former president Rubiales kissed Jenni Hermoso on the mouth. The management of that, how the federation covered Rubiales and pointed to the victim, Hermoso, instead of helping and protecting her, caused a schism within the RFEF and a frontal confrontation with the players, recently proclaimed world champions.
One of the most pointed figures was always that of Camps, the armed wing of Rubiales and one of the people who most harshly treated the players for now a year, when 15 players were proclaimed not callable as a measure of force to achieve structural changes in the RFEF, governed with despotism and bad manners towards the athletes.
Andreu Camps, during an appearance at the Ciudad del Fútbol in Las Rozas in March. Oscar J. Barroso (AFP7 / Europa Press)
A year after that, a month after the unwanted peak that became the last claim of feminism, the changes are really beginning to be seen. Camps' departure is not the first – before him his friend Rubiales and the national coach, Jorge Vilda fell – nor will it be the last.
The 39 Spanish players who on Friday signed a statement demanding profound changes in the federation pointed to different departments and, on Tuesday night, gathered until five in the morning at the concentration of the selection in a golf complex in Oliva, southeast of Valencia, put names and surnames. In addition to Camps, the players want out Miguel García Caba, director of the Integrity department that wrote the report after the kiss to Hermoso; Rubén Rivera, from the marketing department, who was planted in Ibiza with the former footballer and director of the national team, Albert Luque, to pressure Hermoso to change his version of events; or the director of Communication, Pablo García Cuervo, very eroded his relationship with the players since the crisis of the 15.
Andreu Camps, the general secretary of the RFEF who harassed the players
Among the figures they wanted out of the federation, the players never put Montse Tomé, the new coach, in first place. They did not like it, they considered that his appointment responded to a continuity line, but it did not bother them too much. Until Monday, when the coach offered a list that included many players who had declared not being able to play with the Red until the problems known to all were solved. When he also gave a speech full of lies, half-truths and euphemisms. He has no authority over the players he coached on Wednesday in his first training after the triumph in the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand and the tsunami that raged in the delivery of medals. She will be the coach who will sit on the bench on Friday in Gothenburg, where Spain faces Sweden (18.30, Teledeporte and RTVE Play), and on Tuesday in Córdoba, where she plays against Switzerland (21.00, Teledeporte and RTVE Play). And she will be removed from office after those two games. No one contemplates that she can last longer at the head of a team that does not trust her and felt cheated.
The 21 players who remained in Oliva – Mapi León and Patri Guijarro left the concentration on Wednesday morning with the commitment that they would not be sanctioned: "We are not in conditions," Mapi said – returned to wear the shirt of the selection in the afternoon. They jumped into the field at 18.30pm, an hour later than expected. A few rondos, some races and a (complicated) attempt to return to normal, without Jenni in the call – Tomé left her off the list without talking to her to supposedly "protect" her, although she does not see it the same – and with a good handful of issues still to be resolved.
Montse Tomé, during a training of the women's team this Wednesday in Oliva. Alberto Saiz (AP/LAPRESSE)
They do not forget that they traveled "forced", before the threat of losing the federative license. "I have not stayed precisely because I am comfortable," assumed Alexia Putellas, the star of the team, before the press that stood to stand guard at the Oliva Golf. She and her teammates, however, returned to receive the warmth of the public: hundreds of fans came to Oliva to see the world champions, tear a smile and steal a selfie.
This Thursday they will travel to Sweden to play the first match of the Nations League in which the selection plays the qualification for the Olympic Games in Paris. They will do so after obtaining the Government's commitment that the profound structural changes that they have been demanding for so long will take place. And that began with the departure of Camps. To replace it, Pedro Rocha has invoked article 39.2 of the federative statutes that says that the appointment of the general secretary will be optional for the president. The persons appointed to this general secretariat are Elvira Andrés, for representative tasks, and Alfredo Olivares, for executive functions.
The Minister of Culture and Sport, Miquel Iceta, declared: "It is not a happy ending, it is a happy beginning of a path that must lead to a renewed federation and that the players feel comfortable and happy to play and win. The road will not be easy because the federation is in a moment of transition, but it will culminate with elections in the first quarter of 2024."
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