Luis de la Fuente wanted to appear this morning at the Ciudad del Fútbol de Las Rozas to, before announcing his list of called-up players for the matches against Georgia and Cyprus, express his feelings regarding the Extraordinary General Assembly held last Friday and the internal situation of the RFEF.
"Regarding the impact my applause has had, I want to explain the situation experienced there. I have received harsh criticism for it. Do you know what I think about those criticisms? That they are absolutely deserved," Luis de la Fuente began his speech, relying on notes so that, as he explained, nothing would be left unsaid.
The coach pointed out that he attended the Assembly "convinced that we were attending the protocol farewell of a president, but it turned into something completely different," and that this led to images for which he has repeatedly apologized. "I don't recognize myself," he said about those images shortly afterward.
De la Fuente was unequivocal: "I have always been and will always be on the side of equality and respect; all of you who know me know what my behavior is like." But he continued: "We all need to improve in terms of equality, and I am the first to admit it; that's what we're working on."
When asked by reporters, the coach stated that he has to "apologize for an inexcusable human error," which he framed within its context. "We found ourselves in a completely different situation" than expected, he explained: "I went blank, it was a situation that overwhelmed me," he insisted shortly afterward.
Regarding the possibility that some may not find these explanations sufficient, Luis de la Fuente stated: "I don't intend to justify anything; it's unjustifiable, but I want to explain the context in which it happened. I felt overwhelmed and couldn't handle the situation or control my emotions." And when questioned about the reasons for his applause at the assembly, he wanted to make it clear: "I applauded because of that context, in which I was uncomfortable, out of place; I had never experienced a situation with that emotional stress. If I could turn back time, I guarantee you I wouldn't have acted the same way," he summarized.
"I want to reiterate my congratulations for the great achievement of the players and the coaching staff," Luis de la Fuente said before emphasizing that he wants to "talk about football and only football" from now on.