Gerard Pique made money from shady Saudi deal: Leaks
Gerard Pique orchestrated a contract that guaranteed him $6 million over six years for each edition of the Spanish Super Cup competition, according to the leaked documents.
New leaked documents and recordings unmasked that Barcelona football star Gerard Pique was involved in bringing the Spanish Super Cup to Saudi Arabia, a deal from which his company profited.
El Confidencial reported, on Monday, that Pique collaborated with Spain's football federation (RFEF) president Luis Rubiales to negotiate a deal with the Saudi regime to bring the tournament to the kingdom.
The Spanish Super Cup was a tournament held between 1982 and 2018 between the winners of La Liga and the Copa del Rey, consisting of two legs played at the participants' home stadiums.
In 2019, it was expanded to a four-team tournament featuring the winners and runners-up of Spain's first division as well as the country's annual knockout cup competition, and was held at the King Abdullah Sports City in Jeddah.
Since then, Saudi Arabia has agreed to host the competition until at least 2029.
El 15 de septiembre de 2019, Rubiales envió un audio a Piqué en un tono propio de dos socios que comparten intereses económicos. "Geri, enhorabuena. Ya son más de las 12 y por lo tanto ya es firme el acuerdo con Arabia Saudí" #SupercopaFileshttps://t.co/fC8aW4G4Ge pic.twitter.com/FB2obq2qCq— El Confidencial (@elconfidencial) April 18, 2022
The RFEF agreed to a contract that guaranteed a staggering $68 million for each edition of the competition, according to the leaked documents.
Pique's sports investment company, Kosmos, would be paid $6 million for each edition over a six-year period, for a total of $31 million.
The contract stated that if Pique's firm did not receive its payments on time, the competition could be canceled at any time.
Furthermore, El Confidencial obtained a leaked recording in which the 35-year-old defender proposes how the payments should be divided, in response to Rubiales's doubts about whether Real Madrid would agree to participate.
"If it's about money and [Real Madrid] would go for $9 million, then they get paid $9 million and Barcelona gets paid $9 million, too, then the others get paid $2.3 million and $1.2 million," Pique says.
"That's $21.5m and you, the federation, keep $6.5m," he stressed.
"Push Saudi Arabia for more money"
The Barcelona defender stated that they could "even push Saudi Arabia for more," implying that Real Madrid might not participate otherwise.
Rubiales congratulates Pique after the deal is finalized in another message from September 2019.
"Well done Geri, and I'm not talking about your great game and goal yesterday," the RFEF president says.
"I'm referring to the fact that the agreement is signed with Saudi Arabia, “he added.
"Thanks for everything and I'm here for whatever you need."
Pique, who has been a Barcelona player since 2008, has been heavily involved in media and business interests while still playing at the highest level.
This includes bringing Japanese e-commerce firm Rakuten on board as a sponsor for Barcelona, reshaping the Davis Cup tennis tournament in a $3 billion reshuffling, and purchasing the Spanish football club FC Andorra.
A long history of whitewashing, sport washing
Recently, Saudi Arabia has been using the star-studded faces of international celebrities to whitewash its slate, in addition to hosting sports and cultural events, such as the most recent Formula One event that 'enjoyed' a Justin Bieber performance, among many others.
Human Rights Watch, within this context, contended that “Saudi Arabia has a history of using celebrities and major international events to deflect scrutiny from its pervasive abuses.”
A report by the Human Rights Watch reveals that Saudi Arabia is funneling billions of dollars into entertainment and events aimed at whitewashing its horrendous slate of human rights abuses, from torture reports to murdering journalists, and executing dissidents.