Ex-Spanish football boss Rubiales arrested

Rubiales arrives early and is arrested

The controversial former chief of Spanish football has been detained by authorities upon landing at Madrid Airport.

Luis Rubiales, the former president of the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF), was apprehended on Wednesday, April 3, upon his arrival at Madrid’s Barajas Airport from Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic.

Scheduled return to Spain

Rubiales, who led Spanish football from 2018 to 2023, landed early this morning, significantly ahead of his planned return, which was originally scheduled for Saturday, April 6.

His arrival was met with high media interest and a contingent of Guardia Civil officers who were waiting at the airport. The Guardia Civil had his arrest in their sights, following a series of searches both in Spain and the Dominican Republic that linked him to allegations of misconduct during his time in charge at the RFEF.

Guardia Civil’s coordinated operation

The arrest was a key moment in a broader investigation that has been unfolding over the past year and a half, led by Judge Delia Rodrigo of the Court of First Instance number 4 of Majadahonda.

The investigation recently  intensified with searches of Rubiales’s accommodation in the Dominican Republic, where agents seized several mobile devices, including his phone.

These moves came after the Guardia Civil had already entered RFEF premises and Rubiales’s residence in Granada, highlighting the extensive scope of their probe into the federation’s activities under his leadership.

Rubiales: Ongoing investigations

Despite the dramatic circumstances of his return, Rubiales’s legal team has stated he intended to make himself ‘at the full disposal’ of the court to cooperate with the ongoing investigations.

This follows a string of controversies that have marred Rubiales’s tenure, including allegations related to the Spanish Super Cup in Saudi Arabia and questionable financial decisions.

His legal representatives confirmed he had not received a court summons prior to his arrival, underscoring the unexpected nature of his detention.

In less than five years, Rubiales’s leadership has been fraught with scandals that have now seemingly reached a critical point, raising questions about the future direction of Spanish football governance.

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Written by

John Ensor

Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina. He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.