Football Leaks hacker Rui Pinto – the man who exposed Manchester City as they broke several Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules which eventually resulted in their two-season Champions League ban as announced on Friday – remains in prison awaiting a court case.
According to a report by The Sun, Pinto, a Portuguese hacker who worked tirelessly out of his modest home, gained access to 70 million documents and 3.4 terabytes of information from numerous clubs, including confidential club emails – and later handed them to the media, thereby sparking UEFA’s investigation into Manchester City’s finances.
However, despite being widely praised by the football world for his brave and clever act, Pinto was arrested and sent to prison last March, and is still facing a trial for 90 different counts of hacking, sabotage and fraud.
On Thursday, one day before UEFA banned Manchester City from the next two seasons of the Champions League, he was denied an appeal by the Lisbon Court of Appeal. But the news of the Sky Blues’ UCL ban has now seen Pinto’s name start trending once again, with the hashtag #FreePinto on Twitter.
Borussia Dortmund fans even held aloft a banner appealing for authorities to drop the case and allow Pinto to walk free.
Check out some of the best reactions from Twitter, right below:
Why is Rui Pinto in prison? #FreePinto
— Emmanuel K. Dogbevi (@EmmanuelDogbevi) February 15, 2020
— John Hutchinson (@JohnHutchinson) February 14, 2020
#FreePinto ! This man has pulled back the veil of innocence from the vulgar excesses of @ManCity and other misbehaving clubs. We can now only hope that @UEFA will stand strong and insist on applying its laws.#UEFA #UCL #ManCityhttps://t.co/jTWnffoT52
— Jon (@JonCarmody84) February 15, 2020
#FreePinto football is not all about money
— Andres Alto Belly (@altophoto) February 15, 2020
Too much swept under the carpet! Glad to see it happen. They're only getting what the should have got years ago so disappointing to see what it took for uefa to deal with the problem #Whistleblower #freepinto
— tom (@tomkerr28) February 14, 2020
— Aleksy Radomski (@GlazerOutPoland) February 15, 2020
— Eka Prasetya 🐺 (@EPras92) February 15, 2020
What is your take on the issue? Let us know in the comments below.