SPANISH Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy is confident that Spain will go to the football world cup.
Speaking in Brussels, Belgium, where he has been attending a European Union summit, the leader said: “I am absolutely convinced that Spain will be at the World Cup in Russia, and will also win.”
His comments follow a spate of reports suggesting that football’s governing body FIFA has warned the Spanish government over alleged political interference in the upcoming election of the country’s new football federation (RFEF) president.
FIFA is able to suspend the membership of national teams if it considers that governments have unduly interfered with their respective football associations.
The RFEF has been led by interim chief Juan Luis Larrea since July, after former president Angel Maria Villar was charged with corruption.
And according to Spanish media reports, the National Sports Council has been in touch with the RFEF to discuss Villar’s succesor.
This would be contravene FIFS’s rules, which state: “Each member must manage their affairs independently and ensure that there is no interference by third parties in their affairs.”
The Pakistan Football Federation was earlier this year banned by FIFA over “undue third-party interference,” and the Kuwait Football Association was excluded for two years from 2015 for similar offences.
Spain is among the favourites for next year’s World Cup in Russia, and has been drawn alongside Portugal, Morocco and Iran in Group B.