Gerard Pique has denied any wrongdoing after Spanish media linked his company to a controversial Spanish Super Cup deal.
El Confidencial released a report on Monday. It claimed that Kosmos – the company co-founded by Pique – had helped the president of the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF), Luis Rubiales, move the Supercopa de Espana to Saudi Arabia.
It also claimed that Pique, acting in his role as president of Kosmos, teamed up with Rubiales to demand €24 million from Saudi Arabia. El Confidencial also claimed that Pique was set to pocket €6 million of this money himself.
In addition, Marca carried quotes of leaked audio conversations between the two parties surrounding the deal.
Pique says: “Look, Rubi [Rubiales]. If it’s a money thing, Real Madrid would accept 8 million, man.
“You can do 8 million for Madrid, and 8 million for Barca. You can do 2 million and 1 million for the other two. And the federation [RFEF] could stay with 6 million. And we can push Saudi Arabia for an extra 1-2 million.”
The RFEF eventually agreed to a 10-year contract for the Supercopa to move to Saudi Arabia. It was reported that the Gulf state agreed to pay the federation €40m every time the tournament was held, with €4m per year going to Pique’s company.
Once the deal was completed, further leaked conversation reveals Rubiales telling Pique: “Geri! Congrats. And not for your game yesterday or your goal.
“It’s past 12, which means that the deal with Saudi Arabia is signed. Thanks for everything. I’m here for whatever you need. A big hug. Take care.”
Gerard Pique responds after leaked audio releases
Gerard Pique has been the subject of a ‘conflict of interest’ accusation, due to his current status as a first-team player at Barcelona.
However, speaking on his Twitch account on Monday, the defender denied any wrongdoing and told an online audience of over 100,000 that he has ‘nothing to hide’.
Marca confirmed that Kosmos were not paid directly by the RFEF. Instead, an agency working on behalf of Saudi Arabia paid the commission.
He explained: “I have nothing to hide. Everything we have done is legal.
“I will give my side of the story in terms of the conflict of interest. It’s not something I will hide from. I feel proud because we have done a spectacular job.
“[The audio was] leaked with bad intentions and making news of something which two years ago was not news. The only illegal thing is leaking the audios.”
He went on to add: “I’m not in it for the money. I could spend my whole life lying on a sofa doing nothing.
“I think we have done a great job, I don’t think we have done anything wrong, legally or morally.”
Pique is currently on the sidelines through injury. He had to be substituted during the first leg of Barcelona’s Europa League quarter-final tie against Frankfurt. In addition, the Spaniard hasn’t played in his side’s last three games. Xavi has since claimed the injury is “nothing to worry about”.
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