Rubiales and Piqué share Spanish football spoils

The audios between the footballer and the RFEF president reveal the false morals that inhabit the game
President of the Spanish Football Federation, Luis Rubiales

AFP PHOTO/GABRIEL BOUYS  -   President of the Spanish Football Federation, Luis Rubiales

It was 13 June 2018 and Luis Rubiales, president of the RFEF sat before the media in Krasnodar (Russia) to announce that Julen Lopetegui was stepping down as Spain coach. "Lopetegui is one of the people responsible for us being in Russia, but we are forced to sack him. There has to be a clear message to all the workers of the Spanish Federation that there are certain ways of acting that have to be followed". 

On 16 January 2020, Ana Muñoz, vice-president of the RFEF and head of the Integrity department, resigned from her post. Days later, it became known that a report from her department rejected outright the holding of the Super Cup in Arabia because it is a dictatorship with all kinds of repression against women and homosexuals. 

On 20 January 2020, it emerged that Ana Muñoz had urged Rubiales to denounce Busquets for saying that Alberola Rojas "had seen the penalty against Piqué and did not want to whistle". As head of the RFEF Ethics Committee, it was her job to point the finger at the player for publicly questioning the referee's work. Rubiales had a strong argument with Muñoz because days later the Clásico was being played and that was not good for football. 

These are some examples of the dysfunction of the Integrity department and the Ethics Commission of the federation. A service created by Rubiales as a dense smokescreen for the alleged corruption of three decades under Ángel María Villar. Nothing is known about what the Basque leader did and did not do. There is no ruling and it is unlikely that anything will be proven. Of what Rubiales is carrying on his back, there is already enough for a trilogy. 

Integrity and ethics disappeared in the hands of Alfredo Lorenzo, a former member of the Police and LaLiga who is more concerned with FIFA and UEFA than with what is happening in his own house. Long view and short step not to bother Rubiales. 

The audios published by El Confidencial on Monday 18 April were announced to the RFEF on Saturday 16 April. From Las Rozas they were quick to say that they had suffered a theft that they described as a cybercrime and announced all kinds of measures against the media that published them. But they can do nothing against the trail of immorality, lack of ethics and trampling on the values that Rubiales defended before the World Cup in Russia in 2018.

Gerard Piqué, jugador del FC Barcelona
AP PHOTO/MANU FERNÁNDEZ - Gerard Piqué, FC Barcelona player

The RFEF and Piqué agreed to charge commissions for taking the Super Cup to Arabia. Millionaire commissions that made a lot of money for both parties and were agreed in private messages where the tone and manners of both parties were shocking. Piqué has spoken out on his Twitch channel in his own way. He has said one truth, that collecting commissions is not a crime, and one cockiness, that he is proud. But he did not want to go into whether his business profile is starting to generate a conflict of interest in the world of football, where he continues to be an important part of the game with a lucrative salary. 

The sport is looking forward to the moment when Piqué hangs up his boots. Then will come the all-powerful businessman who will shake the foundations of tennis, football or padel, if he wants to. He will even pull strings to put the Olympic rings in Madrid, his favourite city for business while Ada Colau buries Barcelona in misery. 

Business does not close in the Bernabéu box. Everything that needed to be tied up was tied up there. Florentino Pérez has managed to stay out of the sewers or, at least, to keep them closed. 

The coolness with which an active player and a president of a public entity talk about sharing commissions clears up any doubts that football has become the big business in which everyone wants their share. Rubiales himself approved at the RFEF board meeting to take commissions for signing new contracts. Something lawful, but which is an embarrassment for him every time a new federative business deal comes to light. 

Los jugadores del Real Madrid después de haber derrotado al Atlético de Madrid en el partido de la final de la Supercopa de España en el estadio King Abdullah Sports Center de Yeda, Arabia Saudí, el domingo 12 de enero de 2020
AP/AMR NABIL - Real Madrid players after defeating Atletico Madrid in the Spanish Super Cup final match at the King Abdullah Sports Center stadium in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, Sunday, Jan. 12, 2020.

There will be no consequences for the commission scandal between Piqué and Rubiales. None. Piqué has already given his version. Rubiales will go to friendly media to scrub his image because his seat is guaranteed until 2024. The agreements with Arabia shower the federations with money and that guarantees him loyalty. 

Something smells rotten in Las Rozas. The morale of Rubiales's supporters is in question if they don't think of asking their boss for explanations. Piqué also has a fixed position in Barça because the German tide, the 15 points of Real Madrid and the danger of the Champions League worry the soçi more.