Disgraced ex-Spanish FA president Luis Rubiales arrested in corruption investigation

3 April 2024, 14:36

Luis Rubiales, the former president of the Spanish football federation (RFEF), was arrested on Wednesday
Luis Rubiales, the former president of the Spanish football federation (RFEF), was arrested on Wednesday. Picture: Getty

By StephenRigley

The former president of the Spanish football federation (RFEF) has been arrested as part of a corruption investigation.

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Luis Rubiales, who is separately due to go on trial for sexual assault for kissing player Jenni Hermoso on the mouth after last summer's World Cup final, was detained on arrival in Madrid from the Dominican Republic.

He was released not long afterwards.

He is suspected oby police of receiving illegal commissions when negotiating for the Spanish Super Cup to be staged in Saudi Arabia. He denies any wrongdoing.

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Spanish police at the arrival's hall at Aeropuerto Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas
Spanish police at the arrival's hall at Aeropuerto Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas. Picture: Getty

Video footage emerged today showing Mr Rubiales, 46, being escorted into a black police vehicle on the tarmac at the airport in Madrid.

He was arrested just after 10.30am local time at Madrid’s Barajas Airport, shortly after the Air Europa flight from the Dominican Republic landed.

He was later released after questioning.

Reports in Spain suggest he could appear in court tomorrow.

He was in the Dominican Republic when police searched his home last month.

Police also searched Spain’s football federation HQ and made several arrests.

Mr Rubiales was forced to resign over the infamous World Cup kiss but has denied any wrongdoing.

He stepped down in September after causing an international scandal for kissing player Ms Hermoso on Spain's woman's team without her consent during the awards ceremony for the Women's World Cup in August.

He is now facing an upcoming trial for allegedly sexually assaulting Hermoso. He denied any wrongdoing in the Hermoso case.

During his time in charge of Spanish soccer, Rubiales overhauled the format of the Spanish Super Cup in 2020, creating a four-team mini tournament and moving the competition to Saudi Arabia as part of a deal that was reportedly worth 40 million euro (£34 million) per tournament for the federation.

Prosecutors opened a probe of that deal in 2022 following leaked audio between Rubiales and then-Barcelona player Gerard Pique regarding millions of dollars in commissions.

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