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The former president of the Real Spanish Football Federation (RFEF), Luis Rubiales, brought forward his return from the Dominican Republic to Spain as part of an operation in which he is being investigated for alleged irregularities in the contracts of the Spanish football body over the last five years. Initially, Rubiales had planned to return on April 6th, but he finally landed this Wednesday morning at Madrid-Barajas Airport amid great anticipation. However, it was not possible to see his arrival, as the Civil Guard intercepted him on the plane itself and accompanied him out of the airport in a van, far from the cameras. In addition, the Civil Guard notified him of his summons as a person investigated in the case and released him. Rubiales will have to appear in court when Majadahonda judge Delia Rodrigo calls him to testify.

Rubiales defended his innocence in an interview with Spanish TV network La Sexta, where he stated that the information published about him is "a lie". The police investigation in which he has been immersed affects his time at the head of the RFEF and puts a spotlight on irregularities in the contracts to play the Spanish football Super Cup in Saudi Arabia.

In fact, the return of the former sports adminstrator follows last Monday's events in the Dominican Republic when Spanish Civil Guard officers  carried out a search of Rubiales' accommodation in Punta Cana by order of the judge, and in which the cell phone and a tablet belonging to the former RFEF president were confiscated. However, sources in Rubiales's defence team have told the EFE agency that all of this had nothing to do with his early return.

Investigation points to Rubiales

The Spanish Civil Guard's corruption and organized crime unit, the UCO, maintains in an investigation report on Luis Rubiales's management at the head of the Spanish football body that during his mandate the federation assigned construction work to the company Gruconsa "in exchange for making payments" to a company called Dismatec Sport, which was managed by his personal friend Francisco Javier Martín Alcaide, known as Nene.

In the UCO report, it is stated that after the departure of Rubiales from the RFEF both Nene and he attempted to continue receiving "apparently unjustified" benefits from the new projects being carried out by Gruconsa linked "directly or indirectly with the project in Saudi Arabia," as Europa Press reports. In the report text, it is alleged that the owners of Gruconsa had had a "personal" relationship with Nene since 2018 and that in 2020 the Dismatec Sport company, linked to him through his wife Purificación Rufino, began to receive "benefits from the aforementioned construction company that were allegedly linked to the works carried out for the RFEF and others linked to the federative body".

50 bank accounts blocked 

Also this Wednesday, the judge in the Madrid locality of Majadahonda investigating the alleged irregularities in the contracts of the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) during the period when Luis Rubiales led the organization has agreed to the blocking of more than 50 bank accounts of those investigated, three from Rubiales himself, whose white Mercedes GLB has also been impounded, with the aim of "guaranteeing the possible" financial responsibilities derived from the crimes attributed to those investigated, such as disloyal administration or corruption in business. The judge acknowledges that "the economic damages" and "the amount of the alleged illegal commissions" have not been quantified, but points out that during the course of the case "the amount of the commission received" for the contract for the transfer of the Spanish Super Cup to Saudi Arabia was determined at 4 million euros per year, a sum which "must be secured". Thus, it has considered it "essential" to make these preventive embargoes. 

Gerard Piqué under investigation 

It has also emerged that last September, the Civil Guard's UCO unit requested information on accounts related to the former FC Barcelona soccer player and president of the Kosmos company, Gerard Piqué, for the alleged relationship with the contract negotiated with Luis Rubiales as RFEF president for the football Super Cup to be played in Saudi Arabia. This was stated in an official letter from the UCO dated September 19th, 2023, in which it asked the judge investigating these alleged irregular contracts to request information from the Andorran authorities, specifically from the Mora Banco Grupo banking entity. The Civil Guard considered it "of imperative necessity" to verify whether Piqué gave "financial gifts" to Rubiales "or other directors" of the Federation for the "negotiation" to move the Super Cup to Saudi Arabia.