Interviewed by MARCA, Gerard Piqué harshly attacked the International Tennis Federation (ITF). Kosmos, an investment company he owns, suddenly stopped investing in the men's tennis national team world competition, and the former Barcelona soccer champion and former Shakira's partner, replies: "We have invested more than 100 million in the Cup Davis in four years and this is outrageous.
And we wanted to invest more. After the termination by the Federation there is now a dispute between us in which we claim up to 50 million dollars. Our history with Davis Cup has been a great one success. We have taken a decadent competition at a sporting, economic and public level.
In a short time we changed it, giving a twist to the tournament. We went from three to 15 sponsors, then Covid arrived."
Piquè attacks the tennis federation
The 36-year-old then illustrated the damage caused by the pandemic to the event, completely redesigning the agreements established earlier with the federation: "Covid arrives in 2020 and disrupts all sports.
We had an agreement with the Federation. We paid them a very important amount, I would say off the market: 40 million a year. In 2020 there was no Davis Cup, during part of 2021 it was played behind closed doors. the fixed rate we were paying was out of the market.
Many leagues and federations have adapted to this situation and the federation has decided it does not want to renegotiate those terms. So overnight the deal ended and we had to adjust as a company. We can't say more due to privacy restrictions but I am very proud of everything we have done.
Every little change we made was criticized and disapproved of, because tennis is a very traditional sport. Then you see the Laver Cup, which is the most modern thing that has been done in tennis in recent years, and you see the changes work.
A short, three-day tournament that has an impact and that people enjoy. We wanted to replicate all this in the Davis Cup, but we didn't succeed. I might come back if there was an opportunity that suited me, because tennis is a sport I love.
And it is the third most popular sport in the world after soccer and basketball. But there is a risk that if it doesn't modernize, it will cost them in the future. It has an average fan base of over 40 and it's hard to get into games that you don't know when they're over. In Grand Slams they can last up to six hours. It's very epic, but it's not easy for young people to follow the sport."