Spain men’s team continue to avoid Luis Rubiales questions – ‘We respect his decision’

The men’s Spanish national team have continued to steer clear of questions surrounding now former RFEF President Luis Rubiales.

Spain Manager Luis de la Fuente had come under significant pressure for applauding Rubiales’ speech at the general assembly, but apologised last week. Meanwhile the team itself read out a statement last Monday categorising Rubiales’ behaviour as inappropriate, but going no further than that – they asked the press to then focus on the football.

Naturally, following Rubiales’ resignation on Sunday night, it was a topic again.

“I respect it. People take decisions when they think they must do it and we only talk about what we can control. Our energy goes only on that. There is a lot at stake and we want to be satisfied,” de la Fuente said.

He has refused to be drawn on the Rubiales issue beyond one or two answers following his apology ten days ago. It was a line he continued to follow.

“I am going to talk about my responsibilities that is just the team and we are only focused on football. I think we live in our own bubble that I think it is necessary to be fully focused for the next match, which is a massive responsibility.”

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“I understand there is a lot of interest about this subject, but we are only focused on the football match. We are talking just about the facts that we can control, and tomorrow it is a very important match, a match that can help us to reach the first position of the group ahead of the next Euros. I think it is sufficiently important for us. I understand you want to talk about it, I understand it, but I am just speaking as a professional of football.”

Similarly Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Fabian Ruiz would not be drawn on the matter.

“We are now focused on the match in the City of Football (Madrid) and we are not listening to what’s happening outside, but we found out the news and we respect his decision. On Monday, we already said what we think about it, and we are only focused on what really matters to us, that is tomorrow’s match against Cyprus, a match that is very important for us. We must win the match because we are not even contemplating not qualifying for the next Euros.”

While the desire from the players to avoid questions as much as possible, the likes of Vero Boquete, a former Spanish women’s international, have called on Spain’s players to be brave and answer difficult questions.

Spain face Cyprus on Tuesday night at the Estadio Nuevo Los Carmenes in Granada, knowing that a win will see them move onto 9 points from their five games, drawing closer to Scotland who top the group.