Pique and Rubiales in €24 million conspiracy over Spanish Super Cup venue
El Confidencial reveals the conversations, documents and audios that show that the two allied to collect a multi-million package in Saudi Arabia agreement.
In November 2019, several media outlets revealed that FC Barcelona captain Gerard Piqué, through his company Kosmos, was going to receive four million euros ($4.32 million) from Saudi Arabia for each of the editions of the Spanish Super Cup in his role acting as a go-between with the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF).
Now, two and a half years later, Spanish outlet El Confidencial has revealed just how the operation went, claiming to have accessed private conversations, documents and audios that show that the player, along with the RFEF president, Luis Rubiales, joined forces to benefit from significantly more commission for holding the Super Cup there. As if anyone ever thought it was about sharing the game in other parts of the world.
Piqué, Rubiales and the Spanish Super Cup
According to El Confidencial, and supported by documents and audio, the president of the RFEF pressured the Riyadh authorities to pay the Barcelona star, through Kosmos, up to 24 million euros to play the tournament in that country and then attempted to hide the player’s participation in the contract. It goes on to say that Kosmos, which brokered the contract, secured the payment of four million euros per year for each of the first six editions of the tournament to be played in Riyadh.
The information reported, so-called the ‘Supercopa files’, makes public the content of the audio that Rubiales sent to Piqué - ‘Rubi and Geri’ - when the pact with Saudi Arabia was closed.
“Geri, congratulations. And I’m not talking about yesterday’s great game or your goal. I’m referring to the fact that it’s already after 12 o’clock and therefore the agreement with Saudi Arabia is now solid. A hug, thanks for everything and I’m here for whatever you need. Well, except for a few little things that you almost don’t need me for [laughs]. Come on, a big hug. Take care of yourself, my friend”.
According to El Confidencial, the distribution between the participating clubs, Real Madrid being the other, was forged in this way: believing that Los Blancos would not play outside of Spain for less than eight million.
“Let’s see, Rubi, if it’s a question of money, if they would go for eight million, hell man, you pay eight to Madrid and eight to Barça... the others are paid two and one... that’s 19, and you keep six million for the Federation, mate... And we squeeze Saudi Arabia and maybe we get... we tell them that, if not, Madrid won’t go... and we get one or two more...”, says Piqué in one of the conversations.
According to El Confidencial, before talking to Riyadh at the end of 2018, the RFEF president and the player planned for the tournament to be played at Camp Nou and even discussed how to convince Real Madrid to go for it.
“I’m going to check it with Madrid as well. I think Madrid will say no to me. As Madrid are going to say no, it’s a great way for us to justify ourselves for the future and we say that it’s the stadium [Camp Nou] with the largest capacity, that it’s the league champions [Barça], that it’s the cup winners or cup finalists [Barça].... I think we have legitimacy,” Rubiales told Piqué.
How did El Confidencial get the Piqué-RFEF documents?
Days before the leak of these audios and documents, the federation reported to the police a computer attack in which information and private conversations of Luis Rubiales and the general secretary were stolen. The RFEF issued a statement on 14 April regarding the incident.
“The RFEF, through its Integrity and Security department, is going to report to the National Police the theft of information from its email accounts, as well as private text and audio conversations of the federation’s executives. Everything seems to indicate that information has been illegally stolen from the private terminals of the president and the secretary general”.
Furthermore, they pointed out that all this illegally stolen information had been offered to the press.
“It is likely that this private information obtained illegally and with clear criminal intent has been offered to different media. This conclusion has been reached after a journalist advanced to the RFEF the next publication of this illegally stolen material that the media has received, through an anonymous informant who, with an encrypted voice, has contacted them and made it available through a mobile application.
“The aforementioned media outlet claimed to have received, through third parties, confidential contracts, private WhatsApp conversations, emails and abundant documentation from RFEF management, which, if authentic, would amount to a crime of disclosure of secrets and a violation of the fundamental rights of the persons attacked”.