HomeSportsSpanish government to step in and oversee beleaguered soccer federation

Spanish government to step in and oversee beleaguered soccer federation


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MADRID — Spain’s sports authority says it will step in to oversee the Spanish Football Federation after a corruption probe targeted the current and former federation presidents.

Spain’s Higher Sports Council said on Thursday it was taking the extraordinary measure for the coming months “in response to the crisis the institution is facing and in Spain’s national interests.”

The government has expressed concern for the reputational damage to the federation while Spain is set to co-host the 2030 men’s World Cup with Portugal and Morocco. Spain is also hoping for success at this summer’s men’s European Championship and at the Paris Olympics.

The move by the government came two weeks after an investigating judge expanded a corruption probe to include federation president Pedro Rocha after the arrest of predecessor Luis Rubiales.

The corruption and money laundering investigation is looking into contracts that took the Spanish Super Cup to Saudi Arabia and federation links with Seville’s La Cartuja Stadium, which hosts the Copa del Rey final and some international games, among other deals.

Rocha and Rubiales have denied any wrongdoing.

Rocha took over as interim president after Rubiales stepped down in September, weeks after he became a national embarrassment for kissing a player without her consent during the Women’s World Cup awards ceremony.

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