The super-hot story sending shockwaves around the football world is that English Premier League champions Manchester City have been suspended from participating in European football for the next two years and fined $32.6 million. This is because they exceeded the maximum allowances permitted under UEFA’s financial fair play rules and they also tried to overstate their sponsorship revenue. The club from Manchester has decided that it will appeal to the Court of Arbitration of Sport. What they are doing here is not trying to prove their innocence, but looking to reduce their punishment.
The man (yes, a man, not an organization) is Rui Pinto who worked at Football Leaks. He did all of these from the comfort of his home in Portugal. It's been reported that Pinto was able to obtain 70 million documents and 3.4 terabytes of information from the servers he got access to over a period of three years. Once he had his hands on the mails, he forwarded them to members of the media and thus started the probe into City’s finances.
The 31-year old was denied an appeal and still awaits trials for 90 cases of hacking, sabotage, and fraud. Pinto was living in Hungary when he was eventually tracked down. "I was aware that anything could happen," Pinto admitted. "I knew that Portuguese authorities prosecute whistleblowers, so I had to be ready for that. With the news of Manchester City’s ban came the rise of #freePinto which was in solidarity to Rui Pinto.
"The Portuguese authorities are afraid of what I know and that's why it is important that I not lose my mind. In the beginning, I wrote notes related to the case in my notebook, but then it was taken from me. My lawyer was present when they searched my cell and said it was illegal to take my notes from me. It wasn't the prison guards who did it, but the Portuguese prosecutors. They do anything they want. It was a month before they returned the notebook to me."
This is not the first leak; Pinto has been associated with FC Twente who was banned for three years by the Dutch FA. Twente failed to reveal full details of a third-party ownership contract with Malta-based Doyen Sports Investments and thus were punished.
"I don’t consider myself as a hacker, but a citizen who acted for the public interest.
Pinto, the football hero is awaiting his trial.
What are your thoughts on this? Should these people be promoted or stopped with general safety in mind?