Rubiales To Testify On April 29 Over Spain Football Graft Scandal

A Spanish judge called disgraced former football boss Luis Rubiales to appear on April 29 about an alleged graft scandal at the national federation (RFEF) when he was president, according to court documents.

The 46-year-old arrived to Spain from the Dominican Republic on April 3 and was briefly held at the airport as part of an investigation into federation contracts inked since 2018, including Rubiales’ deal to bring the Spanish Super Cup to Saudi Arabia.

“On Monday, April 29, at 10:00 a.m. (0800 GMT), the court summoned Luis Rubiales to testify as a person under investigation,” the Madrid court stated in a statement.

Rubiales returned to Spain two weeks after investigators raided 11 places, including the RFEF’s Madrid headquarters and his home in the southern city of Granada, as part of an investigation into alleged corruption and other crimes.

According to judicial authorities, the raids on March 20 were part of “an investigation into presumed crimes involving business corruption, fraudulent administration, and money laundering.”

Kosmos, a business founded by former Barcelona and Spain defender Gerard Pique, arranged the agreement for the Super Cup contracts, which are worth 40 million euros ($43.3 million annually).

During the raids, police arrested the RFEF’s legal director, Pedro Gonzalez Segura, its head of human resources, Jose Javier Jimenez, and the federation’s external legal counsel, Tomas Gonzalez Cueto.

A day later, the RFEF fired both men and terminated its contract with GC Legal, Gonzalez Cueto’s firm.

‘Never taken a bribe’ 

Rubiales was forced to resign as RFEF president last September after forcibly kissing Women’s World Cup player Jenni Hermoso following Spain’s victory in the Sydney final in August.

He will stand prosecution for a non-consensual kiss, which is considered sexual assault under Spanish law.

In 2022, prosecutors launched an inquiry into the Super Cup contract after audio recordings of Rubiales and Pique discussing multi-million dollar commissions were leaked.

Rubiales has always defended the legality of the Super Cup arrangement, and in April 2022, Pique insisted that everything was “legal” and that he was “proud” of the agreement.

Rubiales rejected any wrongdoing in a TV appearance last week, claiming that he had “never taken a bribe” in his life or “rigged a contract,” and that the decision to move the Spanish Super Cup to Saudi Arabia was made because it was “the best offer.”

The Spanish Super Cup was held for the first time in Saudi Arabia in 2020.

It returned to Spain for a year during the Covid-19 pandemic, but the last three competitions have been place in Saudi Arabia.

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