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Spanish judge freezes a bank account of Piqué's company amid probe into Saudi deal to host Super Cup


BARCELONA, Spain — A Spanish judge has ordered a bank account of a company run by former Barcelona player Gerard Piqué to be frozen while she investigates suspicions of corruption in the hosting of the Spanish Super Cup in Saudi Arabia.

A Spanish court confirmed local news reports saying that the investigating judge, Delia Rodrigo, acted Tuesday on a request by state prosecutors to place a freeze on a bank account belonging to Kosmos sports entertainment company, which was started and run by Piqué.

Kosmos said it will appeal the decision and underscored that neither the company nor Piqué were identified by the court as being under investigation.

Spanish police arrested former Spanish soccer federation president Luis Rubiales earlier this month as part of a corruption and money laundering probe into activities under his mandate. Another seven people had previously been arrested in March when police raided the federation offices in Madrid and a residence belonging to Rubiales in Granada.

Rubiales took the Spanish Super Cup to Saudi Arabia in 2020 for a deal that was reportedly worth 40 million euros (then $42 million) per tournament for the Spanish federation. Piqué, who was playing for Barcelona at that time and played in the Spanish Super Cup, helped get that deal done via his Kosmos company.

State prosecutors opened a probe of that deal in 2022 following leaked audio files of conversations between Rubiales and Piqué regarding millions of dollars in commissions.

Piqué has since retired from soccer. Kosmos was involved in revamping tennis’ Davis Cup and also starting the alternative King’s League soccer competition in Spain.

Rubiales stepped down in September after causing an international scandal by kissing player Jenni Hermoso on the lips without her consent during the awards ceremony for the Women’s World Cup final.

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AP sports: https://apnews.com/sports



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