Luis Rubiales arrested on arrival in Spain over Saudi Arabia corruption investigation

Spanish Civil Guards stand guard at the baggage area at the Adolfo Suarez Madrid-Barajas Airport
Police at the baggage-claim area, where a large contingent of journalists had gathered - Reuters/Susana Vera

Luis Rubiales, the disgraced former president of the Spanish football federation, has been arrested on his return to Spain from the Dominican Republic amid an investigation into a deal to hold the Spanish Super Cup in Saudi Arabia.

Rubiales arrived at Madrid’s airport on Wednesday. A large contingent of journalists had gathered outside the arrivals baggage-claim area, but Spanish authorities carried out the arrest as he stepped off the plane.

Rubiales was in the Dominican Republic two weeks ago when police raided a property belonging to him in Granada and the offices of the Spanish Football Federation in Madrid as part of a corruption and money-laundering investigation that included the Super Cup among other deals. Seven people were detained by police and Rubiales was identified as one of five additional individuals under investigation.

Rubiales resigned as president of the Spanish football federation in September after causing an international scandal for kissing Spain player Jenni Hermoso without her consent at the Women’s World Cup final. He is facing a trial for allegedly sexually assaulting Hermoso. He has denied any wrongdoing.

Rublaies had planned to return to Spain on Saturday but decided to bring forward his return, describing the investigation into his business dealings as “lies”.

“The information in the media about the money I had in my accounts is mistaken. The money is the product of my work and my savings,” he said.

More to follow...