Pique I have nothing to conceal about the Super Bowl arrangement.
Gerard Pique has denied any wrongdoing after audio recordings obtained from the Spanish football federation by hackers showed that the Barcelona defender assisted in negotiating a €24 million ($25.9 million) fee to bring the Spanish Super Cup to Saudi Arabia.
In 2020, the federation revised the structure of the Super Cup, introducing a “Final Four” and shifting the competition to Saudi Arabia as part of an agreement worth €40 million each year for the federation.
“I have nothing to conceal, everything we’ve done is lawful,” Pique stated on Monday during a Twitch stream. “In terms of the conflict of interest, I’ll present my side of the story.” I’m not going to run away from it; I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished.”
According to El Confidencial, which published the audios on Monday, Pique’s Kosmos firm would be paid €4 million every tournament by the Saudi organizers for negotiating the six-year pact.
According to the audio recordings, Pique stated that the money would be distributed among the clubs, with the federation keeping around €6 million. The federation informed El Confidencial that nothing unlawful was discussed in the audios or during the discussions and that the terms of the agreement had previously been made public.
Following the publication of the recording, Pique issued a similar remark.
“[The recording] was released with nefarious intents, making news of something that was not news two years ago,” he stated. “The only thing criminal is releasing the audios.”
When the arrangement was initially revealed, federation president Luis Rubiales stated that no commission would be paid to Pique.
“When we discuss the conflict of interest, we do it through the lens of ethical processes. “We all know there is nothing unlawful here,” said Pablo Garcia Cuervo, the Spanish FA’s Head of Communications, to Cadena Ser.
“Pique is a businessman with a significant event firm that operates globally and has excellent relationships.” All he does is connect us with Saudi Arabia. He has an excellent connection with the president as a former international. It is not a conflict of interest, but he is putting on a spectacular show for Spanish football.
“That commission is paid by Saudi Arabia, not by Spanish football.” In the world of football, 10% commissions are common and expected.”
Human rights organizations slammed the federation at the time for its choice to play in Saudi Arabia.
“We [Kosmos] have strong connections in the Middle East, not just in Saudi Arabia,” Pique said. “They wanted to bring football contests there, and after viewing the panorama, we decided to speak with Rubiales to see if he would be interested in bringing the Supercopa there.” He liked the concept. And now everyone is obsessed with the competition’s [new format]. We signed a directive to investigate possibilities after being approved. We spoke with Miami, and (the RFEF) received an offer from Qatar.”
Because of the coronavirus epidemic, the Super Cup will be held in Spain again in 2021. The audio recordings were made public just a few days after the federation revealed it had been attacked by hackers who also stole emails, text messages, and documents implicating high executives.
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