Spanish football chief defends cup deal with Saudi Arabia, slams leaks

Madrid, Apr 20 (EFE).- The head of Spain’s football association RFEF Luis Rubiales on Wednesday defended his handling of an agreement to move the Spanish Super Cup finals to Saudi Arabia and lashed out at the publication of leaked audios and documents that cast a spotlight on the deal as well as the apparent involvement of FC Barcelona player Gerard Piqué.

“First of all, I want to say that I’m outraged by all the lies that are being said. And I am also very angry since lies are being prioritized instead of the real problem, which is that someone has illegally stolen information from my mobile phone,” Rubiales told a press conference at the RFEF headquarters just outside Madrid on Wednesday.

“The management of the Federation is clear, transparent, clean, honest and, most of all, beneficial for Spanish football,” he said.

Rubiales was responding to a report published by Spanish newspaper El Confidencial which, using leaked audio messages dated from 2019, gave details on the six-year deal to move the Spanish Super Cup semifinals and final to Saudi Arabia, including the financial earnings for both the RFEF and Piqué’s company Kosmos.

The audio files included private conversations between Rubiales and Piqué.

“It seems that all media, even the one that published it, now says the operation is legal. Well, so if all of you agree that it’s legal and we also agree on that I don’t have to explain it,” Rubiales said Wednesday in a lengthy press conference.

According to the media report, the six-year deal signed with Saudi firm Sela was worth 40 million euros ($43.2M) per tournament for the RFEF and 4 million euros per tournament for Kosmos.

In his own statement to press late Monday, delivered on his Twitch stream, Piqué defended his company’s involvement in the Spanish Super Cup deal and denied it amounted to a conflict of interest, given that he also starred for Barcelona in the competition. EFE


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