The audios exchanged between the president of the Royal Spanish Football Federation, Luis Rubiales, and the Barça center-back Gerard Piqué published exclusively this week by ‘El Confidencial’ have caused an earthquake in the sports news of the week.
An ‘odd couple’ whose relationship has an undercurrent of common interest: the Spanish Super Cup in Saudi Arabia. The boss of Spanish football for the economic benefit for his institution and the clubs and the footballer for the company that provides him with a secondary and future career beyond the playing fields.
However, the ethical conflict that this commercial relationship entails between the man who manages national football and an active player from one of the most successful teams in the competition it has become one of the most colossal scandals in living memory.
The commission for Hammered and Kosmos
The first installment of the serial of the aforementioned newspaper on the relationship between ‘Rubi’ and ‘Geri’as both are affectionately called in the released documents, dropped the bomb: Gerard Piqué had received, as president of his company, Cosmosa millionaire commission for bringing the Spanish Super Cup to Saudi Arabia after participating in the negotiations and opening the way for the RFEF to carry out the project.
The question immediately arises: isn’t there a clear conflict of interest in the fact that an active footballer from a club with many options to play in that tournament is the architect of it with the complicity and help of the RFEF? According to them, absolutely.
Rubiales has alluded on numerous occasions to the “freedom of ethics” of each individual, which does not have to be the same as that of the institution he presides over, in which, according to what he says, not just one but up to three different committees They have endorsed the operation without finding any conflict.
For the player, who claims to be able to perfectly separate a commercial relationship from his career as a central defender for Barça, neither. “I have never asked for anything” he repeated with dignity in the Twitch direct he organized on Monday night to explain his version of the tsunami.
The Olympic Games and the Andorra group
It jumped, however, all through the air when ‘El Confidencial’ revealed new audios in which Piqué asked Rubiales for help to intercede with Louis of the SourceU-21 coach and head of the Olympics, to include the azulgrana, removed from the team in 2018 of his own free will, on the list for the Tokyo Games.
Likewise, ‘Geri’ asked Rubiales to include Andorra, the club he acquired and presides over, in a group outside the rest of the Catalan teams because “They are always the highest level.”
Rubiales did not comply with this request although he did speak with De la Fuente, who did not include Piqué in his Olympic list. The favors, despite not being fulfilled, were already requested.
Commissions and a variable salary depending on Madrid and Barça
The commission of 24 million euros that Kosmos received came from Saudi Arabia and not from the RFEF, as Rubiales has insisted and insisted again on making clear, to defend his legal business and financial maneuver -because it is- and reduce to a minor plane the disputed conflict of interest.
A conflict that has led Rubiales to announce that he is going to change his salary structure as president of the RFEF and will eliminate the variables that until now he received based on the classification of certain teams for some competitions. One of them, that of Gerard Hammered.
Information theft and mysterious silences
Luis Rubiales not only offered a press conference lasting more than two hours in which he gave a detailed account -and sometimes shocking due to the expressions used- from the mafia to broken legs or the shot in the neck, without forgetting the place where he grew up– how relations with Piqué had developed, but that he has covered all the radio and television programs that have required his presence these days.
Repeating his argument -the one in which he supports part of his justification in that there are 47 million Spaniards, each with their own ethics– and asking that the focus be placed on the reportable fact -already in the hands of the police- of the illegal extraction of information from his personal mobile phone.
Undoubtedly a point in which the president of the RFEF is absolutely right, in addition to the right to be scared and angry, even though his partner ‘Geri’ may not understand because not so long ago he boasted of the dissemination of the private audios of another public figure.
To all this scandal of enormous proportions and perhaps still unknown consequences, certain silences are added that make one think: the name of Javier Thebespresident of the League, has been pronounced by the mouths of the protagonists of this story and, however, such a friend of the revelry, Tebas has not joined the party.
Piqué revealed that he also has business through Kosmos with the League, something that was seconded by Rubiales who, in addition, has thrown the Chinese from the “excessive salary” perceived by the boss of the domestic competition. And Thebes, however, nor mu. Perhaps having more to say was the reason for curbing his usual tendency to openly say what he thinks.
The mess is served, the hot indignation and the ramifications that the case may still develop are an unknown quantity that has been added to the already hectic decisive stretch of the season.