Rubiales' successor apparently implicated in corruption

BARCELONA-. The investigation by corruption in the Royal Spanish Federation of Soccer during the administration of the former president Luis Rubiales was expanded to include his successor in office, Pedro Rocha, a Madrid-based court said on Friday.

The investigating judge decided to officially consider Rocha under investigation after hearing his testimony on Friday.

Rocha commented upon leaving the court that his “conscience is clear” before local media.

He took over as interim president of the federation after Rubiales resigned in September, weeks after he became a national embarrassment after kissing a player on the mouth without her consent during the World Cup awards ceremony. Women's World.

Rocha resigned from his interim position last week, announcing that he would run for president permanently during the upcoming elections. He is, so far, the only person who qualifies as a candidate.

The corruption and money laundering investigation includes contracts for the Spanish Super Cup and the federation's ties to the La Cartuja stadium in Seville, which hosted the Copa del Rey final and some international matches, among other agreements. Last month, police arrested seven suspects and raided a property belonging to Rubiales in Granada, southern Spain, and the offices of the Royal Spanish Football Federation in Madrid.

Rubiales himself was arrested before being released as part of the investigation last week.

The Higher Sports Council, Spain's government sports authority, said Friday that it had spoken to FIFA to convey its concerns about the federation.

The Spanish Football Federation is responsible for managing Spain's national football teams and organizes its national semi-professional and amateur football competitions.

It is also preparing to host the 2030 men's World Cup alongside Portugal and Morocco.