Barcelona star Gerard Pique has denied claims of corruption after his involvement in the deal for Spanish Super Cup to be moved to Saudi Arabia came to light.
As quoted by Daily Mail, Barcelona defender Gerard Pique has denied any wrongdoing after it emerged that he was heavily involved in and profited financially from the deal to take the Spanish Super Cup to Saudi Arabia in 2020.
A set of leaked documents and recordings from El Confidencial have cast a dark cloud of corruption over Pique and the president of the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF), Luis Rubiales. It is being claimed that the pair colluded to help facilitate moving the annual Spanish Super Cup clash from Spain to Saudi Arabia while also restructuring the competition to benefit financially.
Recordings leaked by the aforementioned outlet reveal Pique being in discussions with Rubiales over the financial aspects of the deal, with the defender now being accused of pocketing a large sum through his company, Kosmos.
As per the leaked recordings, Pique allegedly told Rubiales, “If it’s about money and Real Madrid would go for €8 million. Then they get paid €8 million and Barcelona get paid €8 million too. Then the others get paid €2 million and €1 million. That’s €19 million and you, the federation, keep €6 million. We could even push Saudi Arabia for more, saying that if not, then Real Madrid might not come.”
??| Pique on Twitch About the audio leaked on the España Super Copa: “Everything we did is legal, I show my face now that there is nothing to hide. I’m proud of what I do. People from Saudi Arabia have told us they want to bring football competitions to their country.” #fcblive pic.twitter.com/TU8NChnw8W
— BarçaTimes (@BarcaTimes) April 18, 2022
However, Pique has denied any illegal activity in the deal and has insisted that he has ‘nothing to hide’ after the recordings and documents came to light. Taking to his Twitch channel, as quoted by the Daily Mail, he said, “I have nothing to hide, everything we have done is legal.”
“I will give my side of the story in terms of the conflict of interest. It’s not something I will hide from, I feel proud because we have done a spectacular job. [The audio was] leaked with bad intentions and making news of something which two years ago was not news,’ he said. ‘The only illegal thing is leaking the audios.”
The RFEF also released a statement claiming that the information that has come out does not add anything new to the details of the deal made public in the past. “The information does not add anything new to what was published in 2019. All the numbers of the operation were presented, explained and supported by the Football Assembly,” the statement read.
“I’m not in it for the money, I could spend my whole life lying on a sofa doing nothing,” Pique further added. “I think we have done a great job. I don’t think we have done anything wrong, neither legally nor morally.”