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FIFA Challenged At Court By Porto In Football Leaks Case

Portuguese hacker Rui Pinto sits in the courtroom at the start of his trial in Lisbon, Friday, Sept. 4, 2020. Lisbon court is hearing the case against 31-year-old Pinto, whose explose was published over financial revelations about European soccer players, top clubs, influential agents and continental officials. (AP Photo/Armando Franca)

Portuguese hacker Rui Pinto sits in the courtroom at the start of his trial in Lisbon, Friday, Sept. 4, 2020. Lisbon court is hearing the case against 31-year-old Pinto, whose explose was published over financial revelations about European soccer players, top clubs, influential agents and continental officials. (AP Photo/Armando Franca)

FIFA is being challenged by Portuguese champion Porto in a case of thirdparty ownership of a players economic rights revealed in the Football Leaks series.

GENEVA: FIFA is being challenged by Portuguese champion Porto in a case of third-party ownership of a players economic rights revealed in the Football Leaks series.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport said Tuesday its judges will hear Portos appeal against FIFA sanctions on Dec. 3.

The case relates to Porto signing Algeria winger Yacine Brahimi in 2014. Details of the deal were later published in a series of allegedly hacked confidential documents from the soccer industry.

FIFA judged Porto last year to have broken rules by enabling an outside investor to have an influence on the clubs independence and policies in transfer related matters.

The FIFA disciplinary committee fined Porto 50,000 Swiss francs ($54,000) and warned the club about its future conduct.

In details filed into FIFAs international transfer database, Porto said it bought Brahimi from Spanish club Granada for a 6.5 million euros ($7.6 million) transfer fee, according to the disciplinary verdict.

The FIFA ruling said Doyen Sports Investments Limited took an 80% ownership stake in the player.

The Malta-based investment fund was said to be entitled to future payments from Porto, including from the sale or loan of Brahimi, and if a transfer offer was rejected.

Porto told FIFA the agreement was to finance the signing of Brahimi — who had recently returned from the 2014 World Cup — and did not give Doyen decision-making power over the players future. Brahimi left Porto last year to join Qatari club Al-Rayyan.

FIFA formally banned third-party ownership of players in 2015, aiming to protect the games integrity and prevent investors forcing transfers to turn a profit.

The investment model had been popular with agents, investors and clubs in Latin America, Spain and Portugal. They argued it let clubs sign players who otherwise cost too much.

Doyen worked with Belgian club Seraing in failed attempts to challenge FIFAs ban on third-party ownership at CAS and the European Commission in Brussels.

In the Football Leaks trial in Portugal this month, defendant Rui Pinto claimed he was a whistleblower and not a hacker when he faced dozens of criminal charges. A verdict is expected to take several months.

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