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Ex-RFEF boss Rubiales detained by police in corruption probe

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Former Spanish Soccer Federation (RFEF) president Luis Rubiales was detained by police on Wednesday after returning to Spain as a part of a corruption probe into the deal to maneuver the Spanish Supercopa to Saudi Arabia.

Rubiales was within the Dominican Republic on March 21 when raids had been performed on an condominium belonging to him in Granada — along with the RFEF’s headquarters in Madrid — however he had pledged to return to Spain on his pre-booked flight on April 6.

Nevertheless, he voluntarily returned to his homeland early on Wednesday, the place police had been ready to query him at Madrid-Barajas airport when he landed.

Nearly an hour after arriving within the Spanish capital, Rubiales was taken into custody for additional questioning by the police’s Central Operational Unit division (UCO), a supply instructed ESPN, stressing that his arrest had not been ordered by the decide answerable for the case.

Rubiales has denied any wrongdoing within the deal to take the Supercopa to the Gulf nation, telling La Sexta in an interview because of be aired on Wednesday that his cash is “the product of my work and financial savings.”

The 2019 settlement to maneuver the competitors away from Spain, which was brokered by Rubiales and former Barcelona defender Gerard Piqué’s firm Kosmos, was for an preliminary three-year interval and value €120 million ($129.2m). It has since been prolonged till 2029.

It was a call that angered Spanish soccer traditionalists by increasing the competition between the league champions and Copa del Rey winners to a four-team format, shifting the occasion from August to January, and internet hosting it outdoors the nation.

As an energetic participant on the time, Piqué’s involvement was additionally referred to as into query given a doable battle of curiosity, though each the ex-Spain worldwide and Rubiales insisted the whole lot was above board.

Nevertheless, since June 2022 — after leaked audio of messages between Piqué and Rubiales detailing the fee concerned — a Spanish court docket has been investigating whether or not a criminal offense of improper administration was dedicated by Rubiales when the RFEF agreed to maneuver the competitors.

In March, a decide granted a warrant for 11 premises to be raided for paperwork, which included Rubiales’ property in Granada and the RFEF’s Madrid base and led to 6 arrests.

The RFEF have since suspended a number of members of employees, however an official at Piqué’s Kosmos firm instructed AP that no worker had been detained or positioned underneath investigation and that no property of the corporate was amongst these searched.

It’s one in all two legal instances Rubiales is going through after he resigned as president of the RFEF final 12 months following his non-consensual kiss on midfielder Jenni Hermoso after Spain beat England within the Girls’s World Cup ultimate in Australia.

FIFA have since banned him from all football-related exercise for 3 years, whereas a decide in Spain beneficial the case go to trial on fees of sexual assault and coercion after taking testimony from Rubiales and Hermoso, amongst others.

A prosecutor at Spain’s Excessive Courtroom is looking for a jail sentence of as much as 2.5 years, court docket paperwork seen by Reuters and EFE revealed in March.