The Fifa World Cup is an important sporting event that happens once every four years. Recent events beyond the football pitch could change the status quo. Fifa, the tournament’s governing organization, issued a letter where they raised concerns over political interference within the Spanish federation (RFEF) that could jeopardize the team’s participation in Russia.
This recent development is attributed to the Spanish government’s efforts to influence the election of the new president of the football federation, according to Reuters.
The RFEF was run by Angel Maria Villar. He departed from the post amidst corruption charges and was forced to resign. The Spanish federation has assigned Jual Luis Larrea on an interim basis. Fifa alluded to worries about the process not proceeding accordingly.
“All associations must be assured that there is no outside interference from third parties in its internal affairs. FIFA is in contact with the RFEF and in the next few weeks a delegation of FIFA and UEFA members will travel to Madrid to analyse the situation the RFEF is in.”
The interim president acknowledged the letter and confirmed he had discussed the matter with members on December 1. The concerns were passed on to the minister for sport and would host a meeting on the subject.
The team’s captain, Sergio Ramos, did not refrain from issuing a statement on this delicate matter. He said he could not believe Spain could be barred from the tournament over an institutional dispute.
The Prime Minister (PM), Mariano Rajoy, confirmed he had no doubts that the Spanish National team would participate in the World Cup next year. As stated by ESPN, Rajoy went on to make a bold prediction.
“I am sure that Spain will go to the World Cup in Russia and that it will win it,” Rajoy said at a news conference in Brussels.
Within the ESPN analysis, it was reported that the Spanish police arrested Villar. In addition, Villar’s son was also detained along with two other football officials in July. The charges were based on suspicion of improper management, misappropriation of funds, corruption, and falsifying documents.
Aside from statements released, Fifa will be carrying out this investigation. In other words, the institution will send a delegation with representatives from UEFA to Madrid. Once there, they will analyze and observe the RFEF.
It is paramount for Spain to comply with this process and prepare for a tough tournament in Russia. Another team has been barred from the World Cup. Specifically, Indonesia was dismissed because it was not in compliance with articles 13 and 17 of the Fifa statutes. It means that the decision resulted from the takeover by Indonesian authorities of the Football Association of Indonesia (PSSI).