SPAIN have angrily dismissed Brazilian media reports that they hosted a party at their Recife hotel with alcohol, women and a game of strip poker after last week’s Confederations Cup opener against Uruguay.
The world and European champions said six players had money stolen from their rooms while they beat Uruguay 2-1 last Sunday, but Brazilian newspaper www.globoesporte.com reported a different version of events via hotel staff on Monday.
In a story headed Sex, lies and videotape, it said the thefts were noticed after the five women left the hotel the following morning and that some of the events had been caught on a hotel security camera.
“Lies are always found out in the end,” Spain and Barcelona defender Gerard Pique, one of those who reportedly had money stolen, told Spanish radio station Cadena COPE. “I don’t think they are doing it to destabilise us, they had to look for an excuse.”
The Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) issued a statement denying the story on their website yesterday, rejecting the reports which it said undermined the good name of the team and the reputation and professionalism of the players.
“Six of the national team players were the subject of a robbery at the team hotel in Recife during the course of the Spain-Uruguay match at the Confederations Cup. That fact was reported in due course to the Brazilian police,” the statement said. “The complaint does not constitute an attack against the organising committee or against Fifa, much less against a country like Brazil, which has received the Spanish national team with open arms.
“Such circumstances could have happened anywhere in the world, including Spain. Since then, a series of slanderous rumours have been spread about our players, which the RFEF completely rejects because they damage the honour of their players, their families and friends.”
The RFEF said events would not distract the team ahead of their semi-final clash with Italy in Fortaleza tomorrow.
“They have caused the indignation of the federation because they are only intended to harm the good name of the Spanish team players, who for many years have proven themselves with hard work, professionalism and exemplary conduct,” the statement added.
In Brazil, muggings, carjackings and armed robberies are facts of daily life which will be a major concern as the country prepares to host next year’s World Cup and the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
Last week the wife of Brazil goalkeeper Julio Cesar was robbed at gunpoint in Fortaleza, where Brazil had played Mexico earlier in the day. In the capital, Brasilia, the hotel room of at least one journalist was raided before the opening match.