Spanish football presidency: Top contender Pedro Rocha faces graft case probe. GETTY IMAGES

Pedro Rocha's bid to replace Luis Rubiales as president of the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) is in jeopardy after his involvement in a bribery scandal rocked the country's elite.

Rocha, once considered the frontrunner in the RFEF elections, appeared in a Madrid court on Friday as a witness in the Rubiales case. The judge suspended Rocha's testimony and declared him a suspect in the bribery investigation.

"(The judge) has agreed this morning to change the procedural status of Pedro Rocha from witness to person under investigation. The classification of the alleged crimes has yet to be determined, as well as the date of his next testimony," the court said in a statement.

Rubiales, who was briefly detained on his return from the Dominican Republic on 3 April, is due to testify as part of the investigation on 29 April. Rocha, who served as interim president after Rubiales was banned and later resigned, is expected to take over as president as early as Monday.

Pedro Rocha arrives at court to testify as a witness. GETTY IMAGES
Pedro Rocha arrives at court to testify as a witness. GETTY IMAGES

Spanish media noted that Carlos Herrera and Eva Parera failed to secure the required 21 endorsements from RFEF assembly members, while Rocha had 107. In March, police searched 11 locations, including the RFEF headquarters in Madrid and Rubiales' home in Granada, as part of the corruption investigation.

The federation's contracts from 2018 to 2023, including Rubiales' decision to move the Spanish Super Cup to Saudi Arabia, are being investigated in the 'Brody case.' Those contracts, worth 40 million euros annually ($43 million), were brokered by Kosmos, owned by ex-Barcelona and Spain player Gerard Pique.

Rubiales resigned as RFEF chief in September after an incident in which he kissed women's World Cup star Jenni Hermoso without her consent following Spain's victory in the World Cup final in Sydney in last August.