Friday, September 22, 2023

De la Fuente: “The criticism I’ve received is deserved. I was overwhelmed, in shock. I don’t recognize myself”

A press conference by Luis de la Fuente never had so much expectation, not even his presentation as senior soccer coach. Despite the massive presence of the media, the Federation opted “to give normality to the matter” taking the appearance to the Luis Villalonga room, the small room located next to the changing rooms and the training ground. The usual place where the internationals appear during the weeks of concentration of the selection, ruling out that it was held in the main hall of the Ciudad del Fútbol, ​​the Luis Aragonés. The place where De la Fuente was presented or where they met in the lists for the Women’s World Cup or the Final Four of the Nations League.

Twenty television cameras, triple the usual number, more than thirty photographers and a lot of general information and gossip press were witnesses in a crowded room of the statement that De la Fuente read starting apologizing for what happened. “I would like to explain what I experienced in the assembly on Friday. Given the social political repercussions, I want to take advantage of my space as a coach to explain the situation experienced there. I have received harsh criticism, which is totally deserved. I am sorry and I understand these criticisms. I apologize for it. What I did is unjustifiable, but what I am trying to tell is the context. I lived it overwhelmed and I didn’t know how to manage it. I don’t recognize myself when I see myself on camera,” said the coach.

Luis Rubiales and Luis de la Fuente. RFEF

I went to an assembly convinced that we were attending a formal farewell ceremony for a president, but it turned into another situation for which we were not prepared. I have not felt betrayed by Luis Rubiales, but we were shocked when we saw that this was not the case. I did not know what to say. I have always been on the side of equality and respect. In my 26 years as a coach I have always had an impeccable behavior. We all remember what happened in Sydney and neither Jenni nor her colleagues are to blame for what happened there. To finish I want to congratulate the players for the title achieved”, said the man from Haro.

Applause for “false feminism as a scourge”

De la Fuente spoke of the scene in which the event occurred: “I am used to being fired due to sports results, but not to living through these situations of pressure, stress. I am not going to beat myself up, I can only apologize.” And he commented on his applause in some of Rubiales’ statements: “I applauded when he said that “false feminism is a scourge”, right. But I think that those who know me through my actions, which is my best endorsement, know that I am in favor of equality. I think I have the right to be wrong. If I could go back in time, I guarantee that I would not repeat the behavior.”

The coach confirmed that he has not spoken with Jenni Hermoso (“I have not contacted Jenni, who is experiencing a difficult time and is not to blame for it. But I have not contacted her”), and avoided commenting on the TAD verdict on Luis Rubiales: “I am not a judge, let’s let the relevant organizations resolve the cases and when they value we will see it”.

Jorge Vilda and Luis de la Fuente. RFEF

The resignation was never raised

Lastly, he confirmed to a question from EL PERIÓDICO DE ESPAÑA, from Grupo Prensa Ibérica, whether he had considered resigning at any time due to his improper behavior as coach: “I did not consider resigning, but if I tell you with total sincerity that if at some point they had asked me to quit, I would have accepted it without any problem.”


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