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Luis Rubiales arrested at Madrid airport in corruption investigation | World News


Luis Rubiales, the former president of the Spanish football federation, has been arrested as part of an ongoing corruption investigation.

Spanish police detained Rubiales, 46, on his return to the country from the Dominican Republic.

He is being questioned by police at Madrid’s airport, Spain’s Civil Guard said on Wednesday.

Police have 72 hours to hand him over to a judge or release him.

It comes amid a judicial probe into the business deal to hold the Spanish Super Cup in Saudi Arabia.

Rubiales was in the Dominican Republic two weeks ago when police raided a property belonging to him in the southern Spanish city of Granada.

The offices of the Spanish Football Federation on the outskirts of the Spanish capital Madrid were also raided.

A Spanish Civil Guard officer places a bag in a car after completing a search of the home of former Spanish Football Federation chief Luis Rubiales, in Granada, Spain, March 20, 2024. REUTERS/Fermin Rodriguez
Spanish police taking boxes and bags from Rubiales’s home in Granada last week. Pic: Reuters

State prosecutors raided a total of 11 premises across the country as part of an investigation linked to corruption and money laundering over moving the tournament to the Gulf kingdom in a deal said to be worth more than £30m.

Seven people were detained by police and Rubiales was identified as one of five additional individuals under investigation.

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In September, Rubiales stepped down as head of the Spanish FA after causing an international scandal for kissing Spain international Jenni Hermoso at last summer’s Women’s World Cup.

He was banned from football for three years after an investigation by FIFA.

World football’s governing body found Rubiales had breached article 13 of FIFA’s disciplinary code after kissing Hermoso.

Read more: Prison sentence sought for Rubiales over kiss

Pic: Zuma Press/Alamy 

Jennifer Hermoso  is kissed by president of the RFEF Luis Rubiales during the FIFA Womens World Cup 2023 Final football match
Jenni Hermoso was kissed by Rubiales after the World Cup final. Pic: © Noe Llamas/Sport Press Photo via Credit: Zuma Press/Alamy Live News

Hermoso, 33, lodged a criminal complaint of sexual assault and coercion in September, saying she felt “vulnerable and a victim of an aggression”.

In January she testified to court that the kiss was not consensual.

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A Spanish judge said Rubiales should stand trial over the kiss.

He has denied any wrongdoing in that case.

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