14th June 2024
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Rubiales denies wrongdoing in probe into Saudi Arabia deal for Spanish Super Cup

The former president of the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF), Luis Rubiales, has denied any wrongdoing while being questioned by an investigating judge as part of her probe into alleged corruption related to staging the Spanish Super Cup in Saudi Arabia.

After hearing his testimony on Monday, the judge ordered Rubiales to appear once a month in person at the courthouse and to ask the court for permission if he wants to leave the country.

‘I am convinced that justice will be served,’ Rubiales told reporters after four hours inside the Madrid court. ‘Never was any money exchanging hands in an irregular manner.’

Rubiales stepped down as president of the RFEF in September after causing an international scandal after kissing Spain player Jenni Hermoso without her consent at the Women’s World Cup final. He is facing a separate trial over that incident after being accused of sexual assault but has also denied any wrongdoing in that case. ALSO READ: Spanish prosecutors seek 2.5 year sentence for Rubiales’ World Cup kiss and coercion.

In the case related to the Super Cup, Rubiales was arrested earlier this month on his return from the Dominican Republic but was quickly released while remaining under investigation. ALSO READ: Rubiales briefly detained at airport on return to Spain in corruption probe.

During his time as president of Spanish football, 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 per tournament for the federation.

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

The probe is investigating other officials and workers at the federation, including Rubiales successor, Pedro Rocha.

The judge issued an order to freeze assets in a bank account belonging to a company owned by Piqué. Piqué is not under official investigation. ALSO READ: Gerard Piqué in spotlight over €24m Spanish Super Cup deal in Saudi Arabia.

Spain’s governmental sports authority said last week that it was stepping in to supervise the federation to protect the reputation of Spanish football. Spain is set to co-host the 2030 men’s World Cup with Portugal and Morocco.

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