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Former football star Gerard Piqué to be probed over Saudi Arabia deal for Spanish Super Cup

Former Barcelona star Gerard Pique
Former Barcelona star Gerard Pique Copyright Alberto Saiz/Alberto Saiz
Copyright Alberto Saiz/Alberto Saiz
By Euronews with AP
Published on
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Former Spain and Barcelona player Gerard Piqué is to be investigated over the Spanish football federation's deal to take the Spanish Super Cup to Saudi Arabia.

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A Spanish judge formally expanded her probe into the Spanish Super Cup to include the former player Gerard Piqué in a group of people now under official investigation.

The investigation will focus on allegations of corruption and money laundering related to the hosting of the cup in Saudi Arabia in a lucrative move made by former federation president Luis Rubiales in 2019.

The Madrid-based court said on Thursday that contracts signed between the federation and Saudi Arabia in 2019 and 2020 concluded in a 10-year agreement to stage the mini-football tournament in the Middle Eastern nation for €40 million a year.

Barcelona's Gerard Pique waves to supporters at the end of Spanish La Liga soccer match between Barcelona and Almeria at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain, in 2022
Barcelona's Gerard Pique waves to supporters at the end of Spanish La Liga soccer match between Barcelona and Almeria at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain, in 2022Joan Monfort/Copyright 2022 The AP. All rights reserved

Documents confiscated by police raids in March showed that another €4 million a year was to be paid as a commission to Piqué's sports entertainment company Kosmos while Piqué was still playing for Barcelona and participating in the Super Cup.

Piqué has since retired from football. Kosmos was involved in revampingtennisDavisCup and also starting the alternative King’s League football competition in Spain that has expanded to Latin America.

In April, the same judge requested for a bank account of Kosmos to be frozen. Kosmos did not immediately respond to messages requesting comment.

The case is still in its investigative phase and the judge can either shelve it or recommend it go to trial.

Police arrested Rubiales and other federation employees earlier in April but he was promptly released. The probe was then expanded to include Rubiales’ successor, Pedro Rocha.

Rocha took over as interim federation president after Rubiales stepped down in September, weeks after he became a national embarrassment for kissing a player without her consent during the Women’s World Cup awards ceremony.

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