MADRID It was not a particularly pleasant morning to be out in the street – the thermometers in Las Rozas in Madrid were climbing to 30 degrees at quarter past ten in the morning – and even less to be in a giant esplanade, that of the Ciutat Esportiva de la Real Spanish Football Federation (RFEF), with almost no shadow. The occasion, however, was worth it. The president of the entity, Luis Rubiales, had to announce his resignation after a week of social and political pressure, so that he would leave the position for the unconsented kiss to the player Jenni Hermoso. Or so the more than sixty journalists, including editors and graphic designers, the vast majority of them men, who were waiting to enter the compound to follow the extraordinary assembly in which Rubiales had to announce that he would resign, assumed that.
Every time a car arrived, an anthill of cameras and reporters rushed over to see who it was. “Is it Rubiales?” asked a journalist. “No, no,” answered another. Minutes later, and away from the crowd, a car would manage to pass half unnoticed and only a few photographers would capture who was inside: it was Rubiales. Definitely saving the shrillness and stupefying for later. The assembly would follow in a separate building and through a plasma. In the room where the ARA was, the chairs were all full: 18 male and 2 female journalists. A tense calm took over the atmosphere. “It’s not clear to me,” expressed a radio journalist. Alarms go off when the digital The Spanish anticipated that Rubiales would not resign. “This was because of the meeting with the [federacions] territories”, added another editor, visibly nervous.
The perplexity was beginning to gain weight – and more so throughout the speech. Rubiales starts and everyone listens. First repeated laughs among some – not most – male journalists when he says “I took my parts” to refer to his genitals. Laughter, however, that remains in the background when Rubiales begins to defend himself against what he says is “a murder [la seva dimissió]”. Disbelief and some hands to the head and mouth, in particular from an Italian journalist covering the event for an international agency: “It’s crazy.” The few colleagues who were laughing stop laughing, although not it is known whether out of conscience or because those laughs at the beginning begin to receive looks that force them to be silent.
“It will be a speech for history,” commented a journalist when Rubiales had just confirmed that he would not resign. “Resignation was one fake. He only did it to have us all here,” summed up another, placing the gravity of the issue in the fact that he had to mobilize that morning. “Spectacular,” added one. “This does not happen in your country , eh!”, said a Spanish journalist to an international journalist whose accent was clearly French. In the same way as with laughter, the meaning of the sentence will remain in doubt: did he get off his chest? “Luckily! “, answered the Frenchman.
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