Who are the sporting figures involved in the Panama Papers?

There's more embarrassment for FIFA as documents from a Panamanian law firm reveals offshore financial dealings

BY Newstalk 09:10 Wednesday 6 April 2016, 9:10 6 Apr 2016

A number of sporting figures have been named alongside public officials and world leaders in the Panama Papers, one of the biggest data leaks ever recorded. 

The leak, which comes from a law firm based in Panama, contained 2.6 terabytes of data and over 11 million files, implicating world leaders, political figures, and a number of people from the sports world. 

The documents look set to make a bad few months for FIFA even worse, as Juan Pedro Damiani, a key member of the governing body's ethics committee, is under preliminary investigation and has resigned as a result of the leak. FIFA confirmed the move on Thursday evening in a statement, giving no further detail.  

Damiani, one of Uruguay's richest men and the chairman of Montevideo-based club Peñarol, is shown in the leak to have ties to three men named in the ethics scandal which has dogged FIFA.  

Image: Juan Pedro Damiani with Pele. Victor R. Caivano / AP/Press Association Images

According to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), Damiani's law firm has dealings with seven offshore companies linked to Eugenio Figueredo, the former FIFA vice-president who has been charged by authorities in the United States with with fraud and money laundering.

Damiaini's firm is also believed to be linked to an offshore company owned by Argentine nationals Hugo and Mariano Jinkis, who are facing charges of corruption and bribery relating to broadcast rights. 

Lionel Messi and his father were among the sporting figures whose names also appear in the documents, attached to a company called Mega Star Enterprises, which was referenced in the Mossack Fonseca files. 

The Argentine footballer has already faced an investigation into his financial dealings in Spain alongside his father Jorge Messi, and they are set to stand trial in May of this year.

However, Messi is reportedly set to sue Spanish paper El Confidencial over the claims, something which the Spanish publication themselves have confirmed. 

The ICIJ also state that the documents contain "the names of nearly 20 high-profile soccer players, past and present, representing some of the globe’s best-known professional football clubs, including Barcelona, Manchester United and Real Madrid", as well as "current or former owners of at least 20 major soccer clubs, including Internazionale Milano and Boca Juniors". 

On Tuesday, it was revealed that the new FIFA President Gianni Infantino has had his name involved in the leak. Contracts from 2003 and 2006, co-signed by Infantino, link UEFA with Jinkis.

Files in show that in 2006, the organisation sold rights for the Champions League, UEFA Cup and Super Cup in South America, which were bought by an Argentine company called Cross Trading.

Outside of football, the ICIJ state that the names of at least five golfers, as well as a number of NHL players, appear in the documents.

Off The Ball


The very best bits of Off The Ball delivered every week