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Spanish football interim president to be investigated in graft case

Interim Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) president Pedro Rocha will be investigated as part of an alleged graft scandal which has rocked Spanish football, a legal source told AFP Friday.

Rocha appeared in a court on the outskirts of Madrid on Friday morning as a witness in the case in which disgraced former RFEF president Luis Rubiales is being investigated.

However the judge suspended Rocha’s statement and made him an investigated party in the graft case, said the source who was present at the questioning.

Rubiales, who was briefly detained by police on his arrival in Spain on April 3 as part of the probe after he arrived from the Dominican Republic, is due to testify on April 29.

Rocha is poised to replace Rubiales as president, with Spanish media reporting that the two other candidates, Carlos Herrera and Eva Parera, have been unable to collect the minimum of 21 endorsements necessary from RFEF assembly members, while he has 107.

In March Spanish police searched 11 locations, including the RFEF’s Madrid headquarters and Rubiales’ house in Granada as part of the investigation into corruption and other crimes.

Federation contracts signed since 2018 are being investigated including one by Rubiales to take the Spanish Super Cup to Saudi Arabia.

The Super Cup contracts are worth 40 million euros a year ($43 million) with the deal brokered by Kosmos, a company owned by former Barcelona and Spain defender Gerard Pique.

Rubiales was forced to step down as RFEF boss in September after forcibly kissing Women’s World Cup star Jenni Hermoso following Spain’s triumph in the Sydney final in August.

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