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Luis Rubiales, Former Spanish Soccer Chief, Faces Arrest

WorldLuis Rubiales, Former Spanish Soccer Chief, Faces Arrest

Luis Rubiales, the disgraced former Spanish soccer head who was forced out after kissing a female player against her will, faces new legal troubles after the Spanish police were given permission to arrest him as part of a wide-ranging investigation into accusations of corruption and money laundering.

Investigators from the Spanish civil guard carried out a series of raids Tuesday, including searches at the headquarters of the Spanish soccer federation on the outskirts of Madrid and at a home owned by Mr. Rubiales in the southern city of Granada.

The public prosecutor’s office in Madrid said 11 homes and a number of other buildings were searched as part of an investigation into what it described as “alleged criminal acts associated with corruption in business, unfair administration and money laundering.”

Seven people were arrested on Tuesday, but Mr. Rubiales was not among them. He was in the Dominican Republic but is expected to return to Spain on April 6, according to a letter sent to the presiding judge by his lawyer. Spain’s civil guard has been authorized to arrest him upon arrival in Spain if necessary.

Mr. Rubiales’s lawyer did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Wednesday.

Investigators are looking into contracts related to the federation’s sale of lucrative rights to a prominent soccer tournament, the Spanish Super Cup, to Saudi Arabia in a deal brokered by one of Spain’s most celebrated players, Gerard Piqué.

Mr. Rubiales is also under investigation on allegations of hiring detectives to spy on the head of Spain’s players’ union; misusing federation funds to pay for personal expenses; and hosting a sex party, paid for with federation funds, in Granada in 2020 — all claims that emerged after official complaints were made to prosecutors.

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