Ex-Spanish Soccer President Luis Rubiales Arrested At Airport As Corruption Investigation Continues

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Luis Rubiales

Troubled soccer figure Luis Rubiales was arrested by Spanish police as soon as he landed in Madrid on Wednesday morning. The former president of the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) is under investigation for alleged corruption.

Having just arrived at Barajas airport on the outskirts of Madrid, Luis Rubiales was arrested by Spanish police this Wednesday, reports El Mundo. Having returned a few days earlier than expected from the Dominican Republic, where he had been staying for a month, the former president of the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) is under investigation for the alleged offenses of business corruption, unfair administration, money laundering, and membership of a criminal organization.

According to information from La Sexta, Rubiales was escorted by agents of the UCO, a branch of the Spanish Judicial Police, and then put into a black van waiting for him on the tarmac at Madrid airport.

Following 11 searches which included his home and the RFEF headquarters at the end of March, the Spanish leader’s residence in the Dominican Republic was also searched by the Spanish authorities on Monday.

Rubiales prepares his defense

“I came back to say that it’s a lie to say that I received a bribe with apartments and a baseball team here [in the Dominican Republic]. They said I had a baseball team, I don’t know if they meant I was embezzling money in some way,” says Rubiales in an interview with La Sexta in which the former soccer boss professed his innocence.

The current investigation follows audio recordings of conversations between Rubiales—already implicated in a sexual assault case—and Piqué that leaked in 2022. These mentioned commissions of several million euros paid by Saudi Arabia.

This article was originally written for L’Équipe by Arthur Verdelet