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Football Leaks is a project that aims to reveal the secret and illegal affairs regarding football. It is one of the largest document leaks ever.
The Black Sea, a non-profit media organization which was involved in the project and translated leaked documents into Turkish, defines the Football Leaks as “a cross-border investigation into how the secret deals of club officials, leading associations, agents and investors have corrupted the most popular sport in the world.”
The architect of the project that contains more than 70 million documents is a Portuguese person who calls himself “John”. After publishing the documents on his website in 2015, he delivered the documents to Der Spiegel, a magazine based in Germany, in February 2016.
Der Spiegel shared the documents with the European Investigative Collaborations (EIC). Around 80 journalists from 15 media organizations from across Europe came together to work on the documents.
In December 2016, after the first part of the investigation was completed, it was understood that many famous football players were evading taxes. One of them was Cristiano Ronaldo, who had to pay 18 million Euros in Spain to not go to jail.
So far, none of the documents released by the Football Leaks have been proved to be fake and very few have been refuted.
The organizations which joined the project are Der Spiegel, Reuters, The Romanian Centre for Investigative Journalism/The Black Sea, L’Espresso, Le Soir, NRC, Mediapart, Politiken, Nacional, Expresso, VG, Premieres Lignes, NDR, De Standaard, Tamedia.
The Black Sea published several stories regarding Turkey, based on the documents that they also translated into Turkish.
*Jorge Mendes, a Portuguese football agent, earned 6 millions Euros from the players he brought to Beşiktaş JK football team between 2010 and 2011. According to the documents, the contracts were signed in an illegal way.
*The relation between Jorge Mendes, Yıldırım Demirören, the then Chair of the Beşiktaş, and Arslan Bulut, a football agent from Turkey, cost Beşiktaş 63 million Euros, according to a story published on December 6, 2018.
*The Turkish Football Federation (TFF) was aware of more than 30 payments made by football clubs to unlicensed football agents.
Neither the TFF, nor its current chair Demirören have refuted the claims.
Galatasaray SK Chair Mustafa Cengiz called for the resignation of TFF officials on November 24, 2018. (OI/HK/VK)
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