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Piqué’s company made €24M from Spanish Super Cup being played in Saudi Arabia

The Spanish football federation arranged for a commission of €24 million ($25.9 million) to be paid to Kosmos, the sports events company founded by Barcelona defender Gerard Piqué, as part of the Spanish Super Cup moving to Saudi Arabia, a report in the Spanish press said on Monday.

Piqué's company made €24M from Spanish Super Cup being played in Saudi Arabia
The Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) negotiated a €24 million commission for Kosmos, the sports events company chaired by Barcelona's defender Gerard Piqué. Photo: Pau BARRENA/AFP

According to El Confidencial, the contract negotiated by the federation includes Kosmos receiving €4 million for each of the six tournaments to be played in Saudi Arabia from 2020, while the federation receives €40 million for each competition.

“Piqué had a key role in the negotiations for the Spanish Super Cup to be hosted in Saudi Arabia, and throughout this process enjoyed preferential treatment from (federation president) Luis Rubiales, for reasons yet to be determined.

“A spokesperson for Piqué has denied that he received any special treatment,” El Confidencial wrote on Monday.

The first Spanish Super Cup in Saudi Arabia took place in January 2020 between Barcelona, Real Madrid, Atlético de Madrid and Valencia, with Real Madrid beating Atlético in the final.

Before the tournament, Rubiales confirmed in a press conference that Kosmos had participated in the negotiations with Saudi Arabia.

He said the federation had made no direct payment to the company, avoiding any conflict of interest and a breach of its code of ethics.

According to Marca on Monday, the federation believe “this information does not say anything new compared to what was made public in 2019”.

Gerard Piqué has responded to the scandal by saying that “everything we have done is legal” and when asked about a possible conflict of interests, the Barça and Spain defender argued that “a commercial issue has nothing to do with a result on the football field”.

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FOOTBALL

La Liga demands ‘positive’ broadcasting of football matches

La Liga has a requirement in their broadcasting rules that the winning bidders of the television rights to Spain's topflight in the 2022-23 season must cover the league "positively".

La Liga demands 'positive' broadcasting of football matches

Journalists associations in Spain have complained about the restrictions, which state that the league can ask for any individual who does not comply to be removed from their post.

“(Winning broadcasters pledge that) the production will be made in a positive way, avoiding damaging the image of the competition, clubs, players, coaches and fans,” read the guidelines for the broadcasting tender.

“In the event that these principles are violated, La Liga will inform the awardee so that it does not reoffend in its breach, being able to request the replacement of the commentators and reporters who have breached the aforementioned principles.”

Teresa Ribeiro, the OSCE Representative on Media Freedom showed concern over the restrictions stated.

“The new conditions unreasonably limit media freedom and the public’s right to information,” said Ribeiro. “This is unfortunately becoming a growing practice in the world of football.”

A La Liga source told AFP that the restrictions were designed to “avoid tabloid topics and player family issues” during broadcasts of the games and in post-match interviews.

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