The news about that Pique's company was responsible for making the Super Cup deal with Saudi Arabia sets a worrying precedent
LatinAmerican Post| Juan Manuel Londoño
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Leer en español: Opinion: Caso Piqué ¿Problemático para el fútbol?
Recently, a huge controversy has arisen around Pique, since the player's company received a millionaire commission that allowed the transfer of the Spanish Super Cup to Saudi Arabia.
The Kosmos company, of which Pique is the Founder, President, and CEO, was a central participant in the negotiations that will bring the European tournament to this new country. The player, from his position as a Barcelona player and as a businessman, would be distributing the income from the tournament in a way that reveals a conflict of interest.
In one of the leaked audios, Piqué is evidenced saying the following:
“If they (Real Madrid) would go for 8, hell, man, they pay eight to Madrid and eight to Barça... the others are paid 2 and 1... it's 19, and the Federation keeps six "kilos", uncle. Before you keep nothing, you keep six "kilos". And we put pressure on Saudi Arabia and maybe we'll get him out... we tell him that, if not, Madrid won't go... and we'll get one more stick or two more sticks...”,
Beyond the legality of the matter, the truth is that it creates a worrying precedent that a player has so much influence in the negotiations of a tournament that it affects his current team. Not only because of the conflict of interest, but because of the potential effects, it can have on the competition as such. Would we be very surprised to see referees in Saudi Arabia stop calling a Barcelona foul? How can we say that the games are being called in a transparent way?
Gerard Piqué, en su canal de Twitch, el lunes: "Yo sé diferenciar un trato comercial y un negocio al trato personal. Yo jamás le he pedido un favor en mi vida a Luis Rubiales". https://t.co/Tcry4lWwuP— Albert Ortega (@AlbertOrtegaES1) April 20, 2022
On the other hand, "sports washing" continues to be an element that worries us. Although the transfer of the Super Cup to Saudi Arabia was something that had already materialized, at least the justification given was that it would benefit the League as such, not just the interests of a few. Playing one of the most recognized soccer tournaments in a country known for its human rights violations is a reputational blow that is even worse if it does not have at least the aforementioned justification. Among the human rights violations that Saudi Arabia has perpetuated are the rights of women and the LGBT community, as well as censorship of press freedom.
The truth is that Piqué has denied all the accusations, saying that all the deals have been made on the table and have been completely legal. We will have to wait to find out the consequences that the next Super Cups will have for the future of Spanish football.