“Stay strong Rui Pinto,” read the banner in the Freiburg end during the German side’s 3-3 draw with Wolfsburg last month. More than 1,000 miles east and after a brief hearing on Tuesday, a Hungarian court finally ruled that the 30-year-old who dropped out of his history degree at university and is accused of being the brains behind one of the biggest exposés professional sport has ever seen will be extradited from his home in Budapest. Pasty-faced with spiky gelled hair, Pinto – who expressed his thanks to supporters of Augsburg and Paderborn on Twitter after they displayed similar banners – doesn’t exactly look like a criminal mastermind. The Football Leaks website has, since being established in September 2015, aired claims about what its creator describes as the “illicit practices that affect the world of football”, whether that is Cristiano Ronaldo’s and José Mourinho’s tax avoidance or the internal emails used to accuse Manchester City of violating Uefa’s Financial Fair Play Regulations. Nearly three years after Pinto was first publicly named by the Spanish newspaper Marca, he was detained on a European arrest warrant filed by Portuguese police six weeks ago and will now answer charges of “extortion, violation of… Read full this story
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