Luis Rubiales, former president of the Spanish football federation, arrested at Madrid airport

The authorities boarded a plane from the Dominican Republic to arrest the former director, who is the subject of a police investigation for corruption.

The Civil Guard (body of the Spanish security forces) arrested the former president of the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF), Luis Rubiales, this Wednesday, just a few minutes after arriving in Spain. The Spanish authorities transferred the former director to the police facilities at Barajas airport, in Madrid.

According to local media, the agents boarded the plane from the Dominican Republic to speak and escort the former president off. Subsequently, the Civil Guard released the former president after giving a statement and being informed of his judicial situation.

Luis Rubiales is being investigated by the Spanish Civil Guard for a corruption scheme through which he would have received payments for brokering irregular contracts throughout his presidency of the sports institution. Weeks ago, investigators already searched his home and made several arrests.

However, the former president of the RFEF had traveled to the Dominican Republic and returned to Spain this Wednesday. The cameras of a Spanish television channel recorded the exact moment in which Rubiales is accompanied by agents and enters a dark van.

The investigation believes that Rubiales benefited outside of legitimate negotiations by taking Spanish football matches to stadiums in Saudi Arabia, in exchange for generous remuneration. Also under scrutiny are the remodeling and maintenance contracts for the Cartuja stadium in Seville, the former Olympic venue and now for use by the Spanish soccer team. The complex is publicly owned and distributed by various local and state administrations.

Controversy and fall

Luis Rubiales was in charge of the RFEF since 2018. Since the beginning of his administration, and for the project of taking Spanish league matches to Saudi Arabia, something extremely controversial due to what it means for the fans. Since 2022, the press focused on Rubiales' management and accusations of corruption soon followed.

The manager's fall occurred in the final of the Women's Soccer World Cup. Then, during the celebration and collection of the awards, Luis Rubiales gave a controversial kiss to the national team player Jenny Hermoso. The gesture was widely commented on and later the player took legal action against the manager. All this caused his departure from the institution.