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HomeNewsSpanish Football Federation Interim President Pedro Rocha Under Investigation in Graft Scandal

Spanish Football Federation Interim President Pedro Rocha Under Investigation in Graft Scandal

Pedro Rocha’s chances of succeeding the disgraced Luis Rubiales as Spanish football federation (RFEF) president have been placed in doubt after being placed under investigation in the alleged graft scandal which has rocked Spain’s football elite.

Rocha, seen as favorite to fill the post, appeared in court on the outskirts of Madrid on Friday as a witness in the case in which Rubiales is being investigated.

However the judge suspended Rocha’s statement and made him an investigated party in the graft case.

“(The judge) has agreed this morning to change the procedural status of Pedro Rocha from witness to investigated party,” said the court in a statement.

“The classification of the alleged crimes is yet to be defined, as well as the date of his next statement.”

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, who moved up from vice president to become interim president after Rubiales resigned last year, seemed poised to replace him officially as president as soon as Monday.

Spanish media have reported 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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