Barcelona, Spain, Apr 19 (EFE).- FC Barcelona player Gerard Piqué defended his company’s multi-million-euro commission from the deal to move the Spanish Super Cup finals to Saudi Arabia, saying he had “nothing to hide” and that the agreement was above board.
Piqué appeared in a late night Twitch stream Monday to address a report by Spanish newspaper El Confidencial, which published leaked audio recordings and documents that claimed to show that the 35-year-old had teamed up with the head of the Spanish football federation (RFEF) Luis Rubiales to secure commissions via his sport media company Kosmos Global Holding.
The six-year deal signed with Saudi firm Sela is worth 40 million euros ($43.2M) per tournament for the RFEF and 4 million euros per tournament for Kosmos.
Piqué on Monday blasted the “illegal” audio leaks and dismissed allegations that the deal represented a conflict of interest, given that he also played both editions of the tournament played in Saudi Arabia so far.
“Everything we have done is legal (…) I want to show my face because I have nothing to hide,” he said, adding that he was proud of the results achieved by Kosmos.
“I know how to separate what is a commercial deal and what I’ve done all my life, which is play football. If you’re telling me that signing a commercial deal will affect the competition, then you haven’t the remotest idea of who I am.”
Piqué said that the team from El Confidencial had warned him of the story ahead of its publication and that Rubiales had lodged a report with the police.
El Confidencial on Monday published audio recordings dating from 2019 that included private conversations between Piqué and Rubiales regarding commissions from the Spanish Super Cup deal with Saudi Arabia.
It came days after the RFEF said it had been hacked.
Piqué on Monday said the news of Kosmos’ involvement in the deal had been made public in 2019 and that his company was paid a commission by Saudi Arabia and not the RFEF.
The report also credited Piqué with the proposal to add the Spanish Super Cup semifinals to the deal with Saudi Arabia, which he claimed during his Twitch stream had boosted the RFEF’s earnings from 120,000 euros to 40 million for the competition.EFE