Spain dismiss 'sex, lies and videotape' story
Spain have dismissed a Brazilian media story accusing them of hosting a party at their hotel in Recife with alcohol, women and a game of strip-poker after their Confederations Cup opener against Uruguay last week.
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
In a story titled '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 on Tuesday.
"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 (www.sefutbol.com) on Tuesday, 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 on Thursday.
"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," it added.
Spain defender Sergio Ramos said the team, despite being "upset" by the story, remained focused.
"We have a great team spirit and this story is simply not true. I don't know whether it was done to try and destabilise us but if it was it has not worked," he told a news conference.
"It has upset us, But we are mature guys, it has not affected us and it is totally wrong."