According to a sensational report from El Confidencial, Barcelona defender Gerard Pique could be caught in a corruption scandal along with RFEF President Luis Rubiales.
As per recordings and documents acquired by the aforementioned source, Pique and Rubiales colluded to pressure authorities in Saudi Arabia to pay a sum of €24 million to host the Spanish Super Cup in the country.
The leaked documents and audio further reveal that Rubiales agreed to pay Pique around €6 million for the deal and tried to hide the Barça defender’s involvement in the contracts and records.
Pique had helped Rubiales secure the deal to move the Spanish Super Cup to Saudi Arabia, with the agreement being finalised in 2019.
At the time, the RFEF president had confirmed that the defender had helped initiate negotiations via a company named Kosmos, in which he is a shareholder.
The report from El Confidencial claims that Pique and Rubiales had been in discussions from 2018, with the Barcelona veteran seemingly suggesting the idea of making the tournament with four teams playing the semi-finals before the final to boost the commercial value.
Rubiales was on board with the plan and gave Pique the green light to explore possible buyers for the TV rights. At the same time, the initial idea was to host the tournament either at the Santiago Bernabeu or Camp Nou before the move to Saudi Arabia was locked in on.
Conversations between Pique and Rubiales leaked
A conversation from the leaked audio that El Confidencial has Rubiales telling Pique: “Geri! Congrats. And not for your great game yesterday, or your goal.
“It’s past 12, which means that the deal with Saudi Arabia has been signed. Thanks for everything. I’m here for whatever you need. A big hug. Take care.”
More conversations are revealed in the report in which Pique can be heard convincing Rubiales to go ahead with the project when he had doubts due to the financial offer proposed in August 2019. Pique’s quotes from the leaked audio can be found below.
“Look Rubi. If it’s a money thing, Real Madrid would accept €8m man. You can do €8m for Madrid and €8m for Barça. You can do €2m and €1m for the other two. And the federation could stay with €6m. And we can push Saudi Arabia for an extra €1-2m.”
“Rubi, I understand your point. But think about it. If everyone sees that you were about to do it, then pull out, they will use it against you. They will say that you’re no longer going to Saudi Arabia because you got caught. I would think about it.”
“It would show that you were never doing anything wrong. You understand? And it’s the same people. With the same price, etc, etc. And you can say that you were not wrong.”
Since the deal was finalised with Saudi Arabia, the Spanish football federation has been guaranteed a payment of €40 million every year. In addition to that, Rubiales’s salary has also increased multifold.
The report further states that Pique is receiving a net payment of €4 million per year through his company Kosmos for his involvement in the deal. The contract also stipulates that the competition can be cancelled at any time if Kosmos does not receive its payments in a timely manner.
Prior to the first edition of the Super Cup in Saudi, Pique said to Rubiales: “They said they would pay tomorrow. The thing is that they said they would only pay you but…
“It would not make sense if they wouldn’t pay us too. We all have to get paid. If we don’t, we’re not going. I need your backing.”
Neither Pique nor Rubiales has commented on these shocking revelations. Serious fallout can be expected from this situation as further developments are awaited.