ZURICH: World football governing body FIFA and its European counterpart UEFA have written to the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) requesting a detailed update after arrests were made in a corruption probe last week in Spain.

FIFA secretary general Mattias Grafstrom and UEFA general secretary Theodore Theodoridis sent a joint letter to Pedro Rocha, the president of the RFEF’s management committee, expressing their concern and seeking more information.

In the letter seen by Reuters, both FIFA and UEFA have asked the RFEF about the nature of the allegations as well as who is being investigated.

The RFEF fired two executives last week it said were linked to a multi million-euro corruption probe.

Police searched the RFEF headquarters and an apartment belonging to its former president Luis Rubiales, while seven people were arrested in a corruption probe over a multi million-euro deal to relocate the Spanish Super Cup to Saudi Arabia.

Rubiales has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.

FIFA and UEFA also sought information on the next steps in the investigation and what action is expected.

Spain are one of the co-hosts for the 2030 World Cup, along with Portugal and Morocco, but the RFEF has been forced to deal with a string of off-field issues recently.

In September, Rubiales resigned as RFEF president and a month later he was banned by FIFA from all football activities for three years for allegedly kissing player Jenni Hermoso on the lips without consent after Spain’s women’s World Cup triumph.

Rubiales argued it was consensual and denied any wrongdoing but a prosecutor at Spain’s High Court is seeking a prison sentence of 2-1/2 years for the 46-year-old.

Rubiales had his appeal against the three-year ban dismissed by FIFA in January.

Rocha was also asked when the management committee would convene an Extraordinary General Assembly to elect a new president for the remainder of the presidential term of office.

Rubiales was re-elected unopposed in September 2020 for a four-year term.

On Wednesday, the RFEF said it would submit to the Management Committee’s calls for the implementation of a forensic audit on “any type of contract that may be under suspicion” due to Rubiales’s actions.

Rocha said in a statement it was “essential to separate and disassociate the institution from the alleged criminal conduct of individuals.”

“We will stop at nothing to purge any existing questionable conduct,” he added.

Published in Dawn, March 29th, 2024

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