Luis Rubiales’ house raided in Saudi Arabia Super Cup corruption sting

During his time in charge of Spanish football, Luis Rubiales (left) overhauled the format of the Spanish Super Cup in 2020, creating a four-team mini-tournament – AP/Amr Nabil

A home belonging to Luis Rubiales, the disgraced former Uefa vice-president, has been raided and at least six people arrested as part of a corruption investigation into the deal that took the Spanish Super Cup to Saudi Arabia.

Spain’s Guardia Civil confirmed it had seized evidence from a residence of Rubiales, who was not among those detained, in the southern city of Granada on Wednesday, as well as the headquarters of the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF), of which he was president between May 2018 and September last year.

The office for Spain’s state prosecutors said a total of 11 premises were raided for documents and that it expected the operation to conclude with seven arrests and the identification of five more suspects.

The news comes a little over six months after Rubiales quit his football roles for causing a global scandal by kissing Spain star Jenni Hermoso without her consent after the country won the Women’s World Cup in August.

He was later banned from the game for three years, with a judge proposing in January he stand trial in his homeland for an offence he denies.

Rubiales overhauled the format of the Spanish Super Cup in 2020, creating a four-team mini-tournament and moving the competition to Saudi Arabia as part of a deal worth €40 million (then £34.2 million) per-year to the RFEF.

Prosecutors began investigating that deal following the leak of a recorded phone call almost two years ago in which Rubiales could be heard discussing it with World Cup-winning defender Gerard Piqué.

Piqué, whose firm Kosmos stood to make €24 million (£20.5 million) from the deal, responded angrily to the leak, saying on Twitch: “Everything we have done is legal.”

Rubiales also said at the time that the agreement signed with Saudi Arabia was done in a “transparent, honourable, legal” way and was “beneficial” for Spanish football.

He added of the leaked phone call: “I trust the police and I hope they can catch the mafia that have done this.”

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