FIFA and UEFA demand answers on suspicion of corruption at the Spanish Federation

by Rohith Nair

March 28 (Reuters) – The International Football Federation (FIFA) and its European counterpart (UEFA) have written to the Spanish Football Federation for information on the corruption investigation shaking its ranks.

FIFA general secretary Mattias Grafstrom and UEFA general secretary Theodore Theodoridis sent a joint letter to Pedro Rocha, the president of the RFEF board, to express their concern following the arrests that took place on last week.

In this letter, which Reuters has seen, FIFA and UEFA ask the RFEF for the precise nature of the allegations as well as the identity of the people involved.

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Last week, the RFEF fired two executives who it said were involved in a multi-million euro corruption affair.

Police searched the RFEF headquarters and an apartment of its former president Luis Rubiales, while seven people were arrested as part of this investigation linked to a multi-million euro contract concerning the relocation of the Super Cup from Spain in Saudi Arabia.

Luis Rubiales has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.

FIFA and UEFA also requested information on the next deadlines for this investigation and on the measures planned by the RFEF.

Spain, one of the co-hosting countries of the 2030 World Cup with Portugal and Morocco, has already been the scene of the resounding Rubiales affair.

In September, Luis Rubiales resigned as president of the RFEF before being excluded a month later by FIFA from any football-related activity for three years for having kissed player Jenni Hermoso on the mouth without her consent during Spain’s world title celebrations.

Luis Rubiales maintained that it was a consensual act and denied any wrongdoing, but the Spanish prosecutor’s office on Wednesday requested a prison sentence of two and a half years against him.

In January, the 46-year-old saw his appeal of FIFA’s three-year ban rejected.

Pedro Rocha was also asked when an extraordinary general meeting would be convened by the steering committee to elect a new president.

Pedro Rocha said in a statement that it was “essential to separate and disassociate the institution from the alleged criminal conduct of individuals.”

“We will stop at nothing to purge any existing questionable conduct,” he added. (Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bangalore, French version Vincent Daheron)


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