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Casillas announces bid to become RFEF president

Iker Casillas during the UEFA Euro 2020 Final Draw Ceremony (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

Spanish footballer Iker Casillas has confirmed long-rumoured reports that he is set to make a bid to become president of the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) this year.

Casillas formally announced his candidacy on Twitter, stating his ambition to “put our Federation on a par with the best football in the world: that of Spain” – signalling, perhaps, his intention to run on platform that would seek to smooth over the sometimes fractious relationship that has existed between the RFEF and the country’s top division, LaLiga, in recent years. 

Casillas has been described in some quarters as the preferred candidate of LaLiga president Javier Tebas, who has frequently clashed with the incumbent, Luis Rubiales, over the course of the latter’s two years in charge of the RFEF. 

The former Real Madrid captain is expected to go head-to-head with Rubiales, with no further candidates having yet signalled an intention to run. The election is expected to take place later this year, though no date has been set so far, though Spanish media reports suggest it is more likely to be scheduled for after the Olympic Games in Tokyo than before. 

Casillas added on Twitter: “We are working with the utmost respect and determination on our candidacy. More than 23,000 voters are waiting for us in a fair and transparent election. 139 assemblymen will decide.”

Casillas, who has won more international caps for Spain than any other player in history with 167, is currently under contract at Portuguese club FC Porto, where he has played since leaving Real Madrid in 2015. However, the goalkeeper suffered a heart attack in May 2019, and has not made a first team appearance since. His tilt for the RFEF presidency would appear to signal the end of his playing career; he added on Twitter: “I have informed the president of Porto of my decision, to whom I would like to express my deepest thanks.”