April 19, 2024
Former Spanish FA Chief Luis Rubiales Unveils NFT Project in Support of Equality

Former Spanish FA Chief Luis Rubiales Unveils NFT Project in Support of Equality

In a surprising move, former president of the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF), Luis Rubiales, has taken a bold step into the world of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) by launching his digital collectable. The NFT, released on the online marketplace OpenSea, features an image of Rubiales as a child holding a football, symbolizing his early years and cheerful personality, according to a statement from the South Korean company, The Moon Labs.

Rubiales, currently facing charges of sexual assault and coercion in a Madrid court, claims that the NFT project is intended “to support real equality.” The controversial figure has been under scrutiny for his conduct following the Women’s World Cup final last August, where he faced allegations of non-consensual kissing of Spain forward Jenni Hermoso during the medal ceremony.

The investigating judge has heard testimonies from Hermoso, her teammates, Rubiales, and federation executives. The court will now decide whether the case will proceed to trial. Rubiales, in a social media post, expressed gratitude for the support he has received and thanked The Moon Labs for their involvement in the NFT project.

Moon Labs, the South Korean company behind the NFT campaign, stated that they had created a “digital campaign environment for people who support President Luis Rubiales.” The project aims to honour Rubiales’s contributions to Spanish and global football. The company’s statement also criticized “radicalism or media manipulations,” suggesting that the NFT initiative is aligned with those who support “real equality.”

At the time of writing, 40 NFTs featuring Rubiales as a child had been created, or ‘minted,’ on OpenSea, but none had been sold.

The controversy surrounding Rubiales reached its peak after Spain’s 1-0 World Cup final win over England in Sydney, Australia, on August 20, 2023. Rubiales’ non-consensual kiss of Jenni Hermoso during the medal ceremony sparked international outrage. Under mounting pressure, Rubiales resigned as RFEF president in September and subsequently received a three-year ban from all football-related activities from FIFA.

Jenni Hermoso, who filed a formal complaint with the police, spoke out this week on a Spanish television program, describing the kiss and its aftermath as “one of the worst things that have happened to me in my life, and very hard to deal with.” Hermoso also accused former Spain manager Jorge Vilda, now coaching Morocco, of controlling behaviour during his tenure with the national team.

As the legal battle unfolds, Rubiales’ foray into the world of NFTs adds a new layer to the ongoing controversy surrounding his actions. It raises questions about the intersection of sports, technology, and social issues.

Image: Wikimedia Commons

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