“A Game of Secrets” premiered on September 12th – two months before the controversial FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
“A Game of Secrets” documents an extraordinary attempt to expose the glaring hypocrisy and greed that most fans would rather ignore. An anonymous website called Football Leaks appears out of nowhere in 2015, announcing its mission in a brief manifesto: This project aims to show the hidden side of football. It's time to say enough is enough.
Over the next three years, the extremely profitable and highly questionable methods of football's superstars and middlemen uncovered by Football Leaks make global headlines. To name just a few, Cristiano Ronaldo is convicted for tax fraud, Manchester City banned from the Champions League, and the FIFA president comes under criminal investigation.
Nélio Lucas, a top agent in business with Kazakh oligarchs - and one of Football Leaks' main targets - receives an offer from a Russian hacker: Make a generous donation and the leaks of confidential documents and contracts will stop. After a high stakes meeting at a gas station outside of Lisbon, police finally raid a scrappy Budapest apartment. Out walks a teenage-looking Portuguese named Rui Pinto in handcuffs, worn-out sneakers and a backpack full of hard drives. Hardly your prime suspect to bring such chaos to a billion-dollar industry.
The world watches as the trial against Rui Pinto kicks off in Lisbon. His claim of being football's Robin Hood is challenged by the blackmail attempt and a digital bank robbery in the Cayman Islands years earlier. Nélio Lucas, as Rui Pinto's main accuser and antagonist, seems to have hosted sex parties on a private island to sell players - among other things. The story of Football Leaks is testament to a sports economy run amok and poses serious questions of vigilantism, means and ends, and morality in the unscrupulous business of football.
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