The Controversy Surrounding Former RFEF President Luis Rubiales

Former Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) president Luis Rubiales is set to return to Spain next month to be questioned as part of a corruption probe related to the deal that moved the Spanish Supercopa to Saudi Arabia. Rubiales, who was in the Dominican Republic at the time of the police raid on his apartment in Granada and the RFEF’s headquarters in Madrid, is one of several individuals under investigation in this case, according to a court official. Despite conflicting reports, there is no warrant out for Rubiales’ arrest at this time, and no immediate request for his return to Spain. However, Rubiales has expressed his willingness to cooperate with the authorities and plans to fly back to Spain on April 6 with his family.

Rubiales previously resigned as the president of the RFEF after an incident where he kissed midfielder Jenni Hermoso without her consent following Spain’s victory over England in the Women’s World Cup final in Australia. Subsequently, FIFA banned him from all football-related activities for three years, and a Spanish judge recommended that the case go to trial on charges of sexual assault and coercion. This controversy surrounding Rubiales has further intensified in recent weeks due to the investigation into the deal to move the Supercopa to Saudi Arabia.

The decision to move the Supercopa to the Middle East in 2019 was met with backlash from traditionalists in Spanish football. Former Barcelona defender Gerard Piqué’s company Kosmos brokered the deal, which was valued at approximately €120 million ($131 million) and extended over multiple years. The expansion of the competition to a four-team format, the change of timing from August to January, and hosting it outside of Spain were all controversial aspects of the agreement. Piqué’s involvement in the deal raised questions about a potential conflict of interest, given his status as an active player at the time.

Following leaked audios of messages between Piqué and Rubiales detailing the commission involved in the deal, a Spanish court launched an investigation into whether Rubiales committed a crime of improper management by agreeing to move the competition. This week, a judge authorized raids on 11 premises to gather documents related to the case, including Rubiales’ property in Granada and the RFEF’s headquarters in Madrid. Notably, no employees of Kosmos have been detained or placed under investigation, and none of the company’s properties were searched during the raids.

The controversy surrounding Former RFEF President Luis Rubiales continues to escalate as he is set to be questioned in Spain regarding the deal to move the Spanish Supercopa to Saudi Arabia. This investigation, coupled with past allegations of misconduct and FIFA sanctions, has put Rubiales in a precarious position within the football community. The outcome of this probe will likely have far-reaching implications for both Rubiales and the RFEF as a whole.

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