Jan 24, 2019

A series of leaks revealed professional soccer's darkest secrets

Illustration: AĂŻda Amer/Axios

Over the past four years, a series of leaks published on a website called Football Leaks have exposed professional soccer's darkest and most incriminating secrets.

Why it matters: Those secrets have resulted in criminal investigations and, in some cases, even prosecutions.

  • Cristiano Ronaldo was fined $21.6 million on Tuesday after he pleaded guilty to tax fraud in Spain. Those charges were a direct result of financial details revealed by Football Leaks.
  • Speaking of Ronaldo, Football Leaks is also responsible for the reopening of the sexual assault case against him earlier this month.

Driving the news: Last week, the man behind the leaks, a 30-year-old Portuguese citizen named Rui Pinto, was arrested in Budapest, Hungary.

  • Pinto faces extradition to Portugal on charges of extortion and violation of secrecy. According to Doyen Sports, one of the biggest investment funds in European soccer, he threatened to publish internal documents unless the fund paid him hush money.
  • One of Pinto's lawyers acknowledged that his client attempted to make contact with Doyen, but says the extortion claims are invalid because he "didn't follow through" and described the charges as "a tool to target him as an offender and not a whistle-blower."

The big picture: Pinto's case "represents a high-profile test of a Hungarian law passed in 2014 that affords special protection to whistleblowers," writes the NYT's Tariq Panja.

  • "His lawyers plan to argue that the leads his leaked documents provided to a variety of European law enforcement organizations outweigh Pinto's actions."
  • Working in his favor: Unlike most whistleblower cases, Pinto has no official connection with the industry he targeted beyond being a fan. Compare that to Edward Snowden, who was an employee of the government he targeted.

The bottom line: When is a hacker a whistleblower? That's the question at the center of this case, and Pinto's fate will hinge on how one Hungarian judge answers it.

đź‘€ Look: Little is known about Pinto, but we do have footage of him outside the Budapest courtroom.

Go deeper: Inside the minds of White House leakers

Go deeper

Coronavirus crisis tests Trump’s love for cheap oil

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

President Trump is working to help an oil industry imploding as the coronavirus crisis chokes demand, but listen closely and you’ll hear his enduring love for cheap prices.

Why it matters: He’s like most Americans, who worry about energy only when it’s expensive or gone. As president, Trump has been slow and uneven in responding to the sector’s turmoil because of his inclination to cheer rock-bottom prices.

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 5 a.m. ET: 1,277,962 — Total deaths: 69,527 — Total recoveries: 264,048 — Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 5 a.m. ET: 337,646 — Total deaths: 9,648 — Total recoveries: 17,582 — Map.
  3. Federal government latest: White House adviser Peter Navarro battled Dr. Anthony Fauci in the Situation Room over the use of hydroxychloroquine.
  4. Trump latest: The pandemic may delay a Supreme Court case on the president's tax returns, sparing him from having to release them before the 2020 election.
  5. 2020 latest: Joe Biden says DNC may have to hold virtual convention.
  6. World update: U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson was admitted to the hospital as a "precautionary step."
  7. What should I do? Pets, moving and personal health. Answers about the virus from Axios experts — What to know about social distancing — Q&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

Subscribe to Mike Allen's Axios AM to follow our coronavirus coverage each morning from your inbox.

World coronavirus updates: Fewer deaths in Italy and Spain, U.K. toll jumps

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens and confirmed plus presumptive cases from the CDC

Health officials in Italy and Spain are seeing a glimmer of hope, as both countries reported a decline in deaths from the novel coronavirus Sunday. But the death toll continues to surge in the United Kingdom, which now has the world's fourth highest number of fatalities from COVID-19.

The big picture: The virus has killed more than 69,000 people and infected 1.25 million others globally as of early Monday, per Johns Hopkins data. Spain has reported the most cases outside the U.S. (more than 131,000) and Italy the most deaths (over 15,000). About half the planet's population is now on lockdown.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Health