Former Spanish football president Luis Rubiales to appear in court on 29 April. GETTY IMAGES

The former president of Spanish football, Luis Rubiales, has been summoned as a suspect in alleged corruption during his time at the helm of the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF). The former vice-president, and now the man tipped to succeed him, Pedro Rocha, is due to testify this Friday.

The Magistrate of the Municipality of Majadahonda (a town near Madrid), who is investigating alleged irregular contracts linked to the RFEF, has summoned former Spanish Football President Luis Rubiales as a suspect under investigation as a person who may have committed an offence of corruption in this case involving the management of the most important sport on the Iberian Peninsula.

The judge of the Court of First Instance and Instruction No. 4 has also summoned Pedro Rocha, the current president of the RFEF, as a witness for Friday 12th, in the alleged corruption case, according to the investigation, which suggests the possibility of funds being diverted from the RFEF following the award of contracts to the construction company Gruconsa SA.

The charges include commercial corruption, mismanagement, money laundering and membership of a criminal organisation. Pedro Rocha, the former president of the RFEF management committee, will be the first of the witnesses to appear before the judge this Friday.

Rocha was Luis Rubiales' vice-president for economic affairs and took over the presidency of the committee after he resigned last year following the scandal surrounding his behaviour after Spain's Women's World Cup victory and the kiss he gave to footballer Jenni Hermoso, an incident that is also being investigated by the National Court.

Rubiales and the Spanish champions were welcomed by Spanish President Pedro Sánchez. GETTY IMAGES
Rubiales and the Spanish champions were welcomed by Spanish President Pedro Sánchez. GETTY IMAGES

Born in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Rubiales was detained on his return to Spain from the Dominican Republic on 3 April and was briefly held at the airport as part of an investigation into federation contracts signed since 2018, including one signed by Rubiales to take the Spanish Super Cup to Saudi Arabia.

"On Monday 29 April at 10:00 a.m. (0800 GMT), the court has summoned Luis Rubiales to testify as a person under investigation," the Madrid court said in a statement.

Rubiales' return to Spain came two weeks after investigators searched 11 locations, including RFEF's headquarters in Madrid and his home in the city of Granada, as part of a probe into alleged corruption and other offences. The raids on 20 March were part of "an investigation into alleged offences related to business corruption, fraudulent administration and money laundering", judicial sources said.

The Super Cup contracts are worth 40 million euros a year and were negotiated by Kosmos, a company owned by former Barcelona and Spain defender Gerard Pique. During the raids, police arrested the RFEF's legal director, Pedro González Segura, and its head of human resources, José Javier Jiménez.

Jennifer Hermoso is embraced by Pedro Rocha after winning the UEFA Nations League 2024. GETTY IMAGES
Jennifer Hermoso is embraced by Pedro Rocha after winning the UEFA Nations League 2024. GETTY IMAGES

Also under investigation are businessman and former footballer Francisco Javier Martín Alcaide, known as Nene, and Tomás González Cueto, Rubiales' right-hand man and the RFEF's legal adviser.

The federation's external legal adviser, Tomás González Cueto, appeared before the judge on 22 March, but refused to testify, claiming that his status as RFEF's lawyer prevented him from answering certain questions, citing his duty to maintain attorney-client privilege. 

Prosecutors opened an investigation into the 2022 Super Cup contract after leaked audio recordings of Rubiales and former footballer-turned-businessman Gerard Pique discussing alleged millions in commissions.

Rubiales has always defended the legality of the deal to take the Super Cup to the Persian Gulf, while the former Barcelona FC defender insisted in April 2022 that everything was "legal" and that he was "proud" of the 2022 deal.