Luis Rubiales: "I have never taken a bite"

Luis Rubiales, the former president of the Spanish Football Federation, gave an interview to La Sexta in Punta Cana (Dominican Republic) a day before his return to Spain at midday on Wednesday.

Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
03 April 2024 Wednesday 04:20
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Luis Rubiales: "I have never taken a bite"

Luis Rubiales, the former president of the Spanish Football Federation, gave an interview to La Sexta in Punta Cana (Dominican Republic) a day before his return to Spain at midday on Wednesday. Rubiales denied all the accusations and was very defensive: "It is a lie that he has hit a home run here. It is a lie that he has a baseball team or that he has hit a ball in Cape Verde. It is a lie that he has land for construction of hotels in Saudi Arabia," said the former president of the Spanish Football Federation in a vehement manner. "My money is the product of my work and my savings," he added.

Rubiales justified his stay in the Caribbean country: “As a former president of the Federation, do I have to live in a bunker or in a bubble isolated from society? Here you can invest. It seems like the most normal thing in the world to me,” he recalled.

The former president of the Federation elaborated on why he had chosen the Dominican Republic to start a new life: "Four or five months ago they called me from the bank where I had my account and told me that they did not want to work with me. I spoke with my friend Nené and we started explore job possibilities. I did not want to be in the spotlight. I wanted to be in a place to start from scratch. In the month of December I received a communication from the bank telling me that I had to leave that bank. It is evident that they do not want to to be in Spain. I'm not going to give up on my country. I love my country and my people. But I also have to make an honest living. Anyone can start here," he commented.

Asked what type of business he had undertaken, he said: "I am a lawyer. Hotel business, buying and selling real estate, construction. They don't want to let me earn a living either in football or outside of football. I have had a sanction. I have suffered such a beating in the media that it was impossible for me to work in Spain. I have had accounts here for two or three months, but I don't have accounts anywhere else. My income comes from football when I was president. Also from sales of a flat that was public and notorious. There are people who earn much more than me in football and no one blushes for it. I have declared everything in the agency. I have never taken a bite in my life. Never. And I tell you another thing: This is a country, it is a paradise, but not fiscal. All my money that I have transferred here has complied with a strict anti-money laundering process," he insisted.

Rubiales appealed to his career to demonstrate his honesty:  "I have suffered 70 complaints and in all of those that have reached the end I have proven to be right. I have nothing to do with Gruconsa (the company of his friend Nené, to which the Federation awarded contracts and for which he is investigated). While I have been president I have not worked with that construction company. Furthermore, the president of the RFEF since my arrival has no criteria to say this work or that other," he maintained.

Rubiales praised his friend: "Nené is a man that I have known for almost 30 years, him and his wife. It is a family that I love very much. I feel for what they are going through. I don't understand it. I think it's because be a friend of mine. He is a long-time businessman in hotels, construction... but I don't want to get into that anymore. In no case has Nene come to me and said "Here, take this work." We have tried to make business here together but it's impossible. I have all my accounts blocked. I can't pay for even one Coke," he lamented.

The former president of the Federation justified the Spanish Super Cup contract in Saudi: "It was Cosmos (Gerard Piqué's company) who brought Saudi Arabia. Just as there are other businessmen who brought other people. They said that we had awarded Saudi Arabia for an amount lower than the one Qatar gave us. And the journalist knew that was a lie. We chose the best offer. The one from Qatar was not even an offer. It was a proposal that they had to validate in ten days and they did not validate it. Spain "He received 120.00 euros from the Super Cup and from then on he received much more (40 million). And they went to modest football to save many things during the pandemic."

Rubiales also denied now supporting Pedro Rocha as a candidate for president of the Federation, nor did he even say that he was in contact with him: "I think I spoke once on the phone with Pedro Rocha, but three or five months ago, I don't know. I have no relationship. with him. I have completely distanced myself. I have not called anyone from the territorials. If anyone has called me it has been to give me encouragement. I have not wanted to know anything about the election issue."

For Luis Rubiales, the World Cup awarded to Spain for 2030 along with Portugal and Morocco is not in danger: "The World Cup is not in danger. The investigations must be carried out to the end. I have not spoken to anyone from the Government since I was forced to resign. Always "I have been in my place when I have had to talk to someone. I have always attended to whoever has asked."

The former leader denied having paid for parties with prostitutes with money from the Federation, as denounced by his uncle Juan, who was head of his Cabinet at the beginning of his mandate: "I am willing to be given real serum and asked if I have been with some prostitute and I'll say no. No one will ever be able to check because I've never been there."

Rubiales spoke after the non-consensual kiss to Jenni Hermoso: "I have not attacked her. I have verified that she gives an opinion and after six or seven days she says a different thing in writing. There is a complaint from the Prosecutor's Office and we have found out what What the Prosecutor's Office requests through the media. I am not a sexual aggressor. A sexual aggressor does not ask. In the context, there was nothing sexual. She tells me that it is okay. Even in a story she recognizes it. There are the previous and subsequent videos. "Let everyone give their opinion. In no case has there been aggression. You just have to look at it. She herself immediately came out to deny that there was anything."

He also denied coercion against Hermoso both on his part and on the part of the women's coach at the time, Jorge Vilda, or the football director, Albert Luque, both of whom were dismissed from their positions: "I only spoke to Mrs. Hermoso for ten seconds on the plane. She told him "I asked to go out and say the same thing we had said. If that is coercion, any conversation between two people is coercion. Whoever sees the images, I really can't understand why someone thinks that that is sexual assault."

And he adds: "My relationship with Hermoso went back a long way. We had a relationship like a footballer to a footballer. I was wrong because in a medal ceremony it should have been more institutional. I have a clear conscience. For me and for my daughters. They "They have witnessed and been there. I also gave them spikes and I did not sexually assault them."

Luis Rubiales also spoke about the Negreira case: "In the Negreira issue we have to go to the end. I was unaware of this situation. I wish all the success in the world so that it is reached to the end. I cannot comment on payments that have been possible or not. perform before".