A press conference by Luis de la Fuente had never raised such high expectations, not even his presentation as head football coach. Despite the massive media presence, the federation decided to “give normality to the matter.” Take the gig to the Luis Villalonga room, the small room located next to the dressing rooms and the training ground. The usual place where the internationals perform during the week-long concentration of the selection rules out that this took place in the main hall of the Ciudad del Fútbol, the Luis Aragonés. The place where De la Fuente was introduced or where they met in the lists for the Women’s World Cup or Nations League Final Four.
Twenty cameras, three times the usual number, with lots of general information and gossip press, witnessed the statement in a crowded room, which De la Fuente read and began to apologize for what had happened. “I would like to explain what I experienced in Friday’s meeting. In view of the socio-political effects, I would like to use my room as a trainer to explain the situation experienced there.” I have received harsh criticism, which is entirely justified. I’m sorry and I understand this criticism. I apologize for that. There’s no justification for what I’ve done, but what I’m trying to do is context. I was overwhelmed and didn’t know how to deal with it. “I don’t recognize myself when I see myself in front of the camera,” said the coach.
“I went to a meeting believing that we were going to attend a formal presidential farewell ceremony, but another situation arose for which we were unprepared. I didn’t feel betrayed by Luis Rubiales but we were shocked to see that wasn’t the case. I don’t know what to say. I’ve always been on the side of equality and respect. In my 26 years as a coach I have always behaved immaculately. We all remember what happened in Sydney and not even Jenni without her companions is to blame for what happened there. In closing, I would like to congratulate the players on the title they achieved,” said the man from Haro.
Applause for “false feminism as a scourge”
De la Fuente spoke of the scene in which the event took place: “I’m used to being fired because of sports results, but not to going through such pressure and stressful situations. I’m not going to beat myself up, all I can do is apologize.” And he commented on his applause in some statements by Rubiales: “I applauded when he said false feminism is a scourge, right. But I think those who know me for what I’ve done, and that’s my best endorsement, that I’m pro-equal. I think I have the right to be wrong. If I could turn back time, I guarantee I wouldn’t repeat the behavior.
The coach confirmed he hadn’t spoken to Jenni Hermoso (“I haven’t contacted Jenni who is going through a difficult time and it’s not her fault. But I haven’t contacted her”) and avoided commenting on the TAD verdict on Luis Rubiales: “I am not a judge. Let’s leave it to the responsible organizations to solve the cases and if they care, we’ll see.”.
The resignation was never raised
Finally, when asked by Grupo Prensa Ibérica’s EL PERIÓDICO DE ESPAÑA, he confirmed if he had ever considered resigning due to his improper conduct as a coach: “I didn’t consider resigning, but if I had told you in all sincerity that if at any point they had asked me to resign, I would have accepted it without a problem.”