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Spanish federation sack directors linked with corruption probe

By AFP

March 21, 2024 09:57 PM


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The Spanish football federation (RFEF) sacked various directors linked with a corruption probe on Thursday.

In statement the federation said they had "opened disciplinary proceedings" against and sacked their director of legal services, Pedro Gonzalez Segura and director of human resources, Jose Javier Jimenez, both of whom were arrested Wednesday.

The RFEF also said they had terminated a contract with GC Legal, the law firm of Tomas Gonzalez Cueto, who was also arrested as part of a Spanish court's investigation into alleged corruption, fraudulent administration and money laundering.

Police searched the federation headquarters on the outskirts of Madrid on Wednesday, along with disgraced former chief Luis Rubiales' property in Granada.

The 46-year-old is currently in the Dominican Republic but is set to return to Spain on April 6, according to Spanish media, who report the investigation concerns contracts signed by Rubiales to take the Spanish Super Cup to Saudi Arabia, among other matters.

The Super Cup contracts signed are worth 40 million euros a year ($43.3 million) and were arranged with former footballer Gerard Pique's company Kosmos acting as an intermediary.

Rubiales stepped down as RFEF president in September after forcibly kissing Women's World Cup star Jenni Hermoso to provoke worldwide outrage, following Spain's triumph in the Sydney final in August.

A Spanish judge said in January Rubiales will face trial over the incident.

The Spanish Super Cup took place for the first time in Saudi Arabia in 2020.

After the following edition returned to Spain because of the Covid-19 pandemic, the subsequent three competitions were back in Saudi Arabia.

Spanish prosecutors opened a probe in 2022 into the Super Cup deal after audio recordings between Rubiales and Pique were leaked in which they spoke of commissions worth multi-millions.

Rubiales has always defended the legality of the deal to take the Super Cup to the oil-rich Gulf state.

"If there is any type of commission, Kosmos will get it from Saudi Arabia -- the federation has not paid, is not paying and will not pay a single euro in commission to anyone for this deal," Rubiales said in 2022.

Former Barcelona and Spain defender Pique said in April 2022 "everything is legal" and that he was "proud" of the deal.


AFP


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