SHARE
COPY LINK

FOOTBALL

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”.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.

CORRUPTION

Spain shelves probe into €7-billion Saudi rail project contract

Spanish prosecutors have dropped a probe into suspicions Spanish firms paid kickbacks to secure a contract to build a high-speed rail link in Saudi Arabia, a ruling made public Thursday showed.

Spain shelves probe into €7-billion Saudi rail project contract

In 2011, Saudi Arabia awarded the contract worth €6.8 billion($7.2 billion) to a consortium of 12 Spanish companies and two Saudi firms to build the railway linking Islam’s holiest cities, Mecca and Medina.

Spanish prosecutors opened an investigation into the deal after a former mistress of Spain’s former king Juan Carlos was heard in a telephone conversation discussing commissions which were allegedly paid to secure the contract.

Anti-corruption prosecutors decided to shelve the probe “as it was not possible to determine the possible commission of the criminal offence”, according to the ruling dated May 4th.

The information which was gathered is “clearly insufficient”, and was “in part contradictory”, it added.

Juan Carlos was the target of a separate probe over the high-speed railway contract.

The investigation centred on $100 million Saudi Arabia’s late King Abdullah deposited into a Swiss bank account in 2008, to which Juan Carlos had access.

A unit of the highspeed train built by Spanish manufacturer Talgo is loaded onto a freighter in Barcelona’s port in 2014. (Photo by JOSEP LAGO / AFP)

Prosecutors dropped the probe in March, saying the could not establish “any link” between the receipt of the money and the awarding of the contract.

Swiss prosecutors had also opened a probe into the same issue in 2018 but dropped the case in December for lack of evidence.

Saudi Arabia opened the 444-kilometre (275-mile) railway to the public in October 2018. It has improved transport connections between Mecca and Medina during the annual haj pilgrimage.

Spanish construction and engineering firm OHL, train maker Talgo and state track operator Adif were among the firms which made part of the consortium that built the railway.

SHOW COMMENTS