In the world of football, reputation is an invaluable asset. Every action and word uttered by its protagonists has an impact that can transcend the field of play. A recent case that eloquently illustrates this is that of the president of the Spanish Football Federation, Luis Rubiales, whose actions during the Women's World Cup have sparked a wave of controversy.
In this article, we will delve into the murky world of Rubiales, shed some light on the damage of an act that shook the world of sport and explore how his reputation deflated like a punctured ball in a tournament of giants.
Rubiales' act and its consequence
The first article we are going to analyse reveals the devastating impact of Rubiales' act at the Women's World Cup final. The RFEF president made a controversial scene when he effusively kissed player Jenni Hermoso at the medal ceremony, unleashing a storm of criticism and a media tsunami. More than 3,300 articles were written about the incident, and they were not exactly flattering.
On a night that should have been a night of celebration for Spanish women's football, Luis Rubiales committed a series of actions that have left a deep mark on his reputation and on the international stage. From the effusive kiss to player Jenni Hermoso to the inappropriate gestures in the box, his behaviour unleashed a barrage of criticism both nationally and internationally.
The reputational damage was immediate and overwhelming. More than 3,300 articles in the press, both in Spain and abroad, echoed the controversy. The social media were not far behind, with 'Rubiales' becoming a trend and a growing demand for his resignation.
The scale of the scandal
The scale of the impact of this incident is undeniable. Not only the local media echoed the controversy, but also the international media, influencers and politicians also joined the chorus of critics. Equality minister Irene Montero, vice-president Yolanda Díaz, and culture and sports minister Miquel Iceta joined the call for his resignation.
What is even more revealing is that this incident overshadowed Spain's hosting of the world championship.. Internet searches were more focused on the name of Luis Rubiales than on the triumph of the Spanish players in the final. This diversion of the focus on Rubiales' behaviour damaged the image of Spanish women's football internationally.
Reputation management that left much to be desired
The analysis of this case is not only about pointing out the damage done, but also about identifying the missed opportunities in the management of the reputation of Luis Rubiales. The first mistake was the lack of an immediate and adequate response. A public appearance, with clear messages of pride in the team's achievement and a sincere apology for their actions, could have mitigated the negative impact.
Instead, Rubiales failed to acknowledge his mistakes in a timely manner and to take full responsibility for his actions. The lack of a direct apology to Jenni Hermoso and the rest of the players left an open wound in his relationship with the team.
The resignation that never happened
A more effective reaction to the crisis would have had a significant impact on Rubiales' public perception and reputation management. An appropriate response could have turned a loss into a gain and further consolidated his leadership in Spanish football.
Acknowledgement of their mistakes and a sincere apology would not only have mitigated the damage, but would also have diverted attention to the achievements of the team and the history of the players. In addition, his resignation, followed by the nomination of a woman to succeed him, would have sent a powerful message of commitment to equality in sport.
This action would have shown a real sense of responsibility for his actions and would have allowed his long-term reputation to be restored. However, Rubiales chose to remain in office, leaving a permanent stain on his reputation.
Lessons from reputation management
What is clear is that reputation management is an important an art that requires precision and skill. In the face of a crisis, such as the one Rubiales faced, an immediate and effective response is essential. A public apology, acknowledgement of mistakes and taking responsibility can transform a crisis into an opportunity for recovery. Turning risks into opportunities can be the key to preserving and strengthening reputation. In the case of Luis Rubiales, the missed opportunities have left an indelible mark on his image, a reminder that in the world of sport, as in life, reputation management is essential for long-term success.
The Importance of Humility and Responsibility
Ultimately, the Rubiales case teaches us the importance of humility and accountability. Acknowledging mistakes, apologising and taking responsibility are crucial steps towards reputational recovery. Rather than clinging to power, sometimes it is braver and wiser to step back and allow someone more competent to lead the way.
In the world of football, as in any other field, reputation is a major strategic asset that needs to be managed professionally and consistently. Impulsive decisions and lack of transparency can undermine trust and damage our image significantly. Let us learn from Rubiales' mistakes and remember that, ultimately, reputation is a perception that can be shaped with the right approach and management.