Spanish soccer boss cancels controversial World Cup trip
MADRID (AP) — The new president of the Spanish Football Federation says he's been able to cancel a previously arranged trip by officials to the World Cup that would cost nearly 2 million euros ($2.3 million).
Luis Rubiales said on Tuesday he got the money reimbursed, and the federation will spend only about 500,000 euros ($585,000) with new travel arrangements.
Rubiales said the savings will help negotiations for the players' World Cup prize money.
The original eight-day trip would have taken federation officials and sponsors to St. Petersburg, Kazan, and Kaliningrad. Spain will play group matches in Kazan and Kaliningrad but not in St. Petersburg.
Rubiales last month took over a federation which was in the hands of embattled official Angel Maria Villar for nearly three decades. He was elected president over Juan Luis Larrea, the federation's former treasurer and its interim leader since Villar — a former FIFA and UEFA vice president — was suspended following his arrest last year on suspicion of improper management, misappropriation of funds, corruption and falsifying documents.
Rubiales had said he believed Larrea approved the original trip, but the latter told Spanish media he had nothing to do with it.