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Spanish prosecutors seek 2-year jail term and €10 million fine for Neymar

The Brazilian star is being linked with alleged corrupt practices in his transfer to Barcelona in 2013.

Image: Manu Fernandez

 

SPANISH PROSECUTORS RECOMMENDED that Brazilian star Neymar be handed a two-year jail sentence and a fine of €10 million for alleged corrupt practices in his transfer to Barcelona, a court filing revealed on Wednesday.

Prosecutors are also seeking a five-year sentence for former Barcelona president Sandro Rosell — who resigned over the scandal in 2014 — on counts of fraud and corruption, but dropped charges against current president Josep Maria Bartomeu.

The case initiated with a complaint from Brazilian investment company DIS, which owned 40% of Neymar’s sporting rights at the time of his transfer from Santos in 2013.

In presenting their case on Wednesday, DIS called for five-year sentences for Neymar and his parents, eight years for Rosell and Bartomeu and a mammoth €195m fine for Barca.

Sentences of two years or less are habitually suspended for first time offenders in Spain. However, DIS also recommended that Neymar be banned from playing football during any judicial sentence.

Barcelona initially announced the cost of the move at €57.1m, €17.1m of which was paid to Santos with the remaining €40m paid to N&N, a company owned by Neymar’s family.

However, Spanish authorities believe the real cost escalated to €83.3m. DIS received €6.8m, 40% of the fee paid to Santos. The company believes it was cheated of its real share because part of the transfer fee was concealed by Barcelona, Santos and the Neymar family.

Moreover, DIS also argued a pre-contract agreement between Neymar and Barca signed in 2011 impeded other clubs from making offers for the player, affecting the value of the transfer fee.

The decision is another blow to the image of the Spanish champions and the player himself, who signed a lucrative new contract to remain at Barca till 2021 in June.

Barca hoped to bring an end to the murky affair when the club agreed to pay a €5.5m fine in a deal with prosecutors in June to settle a separate case and ensure the club avoided trial on tax-evasion charges over the transfer.

– © AFP 2016; first published 13.25

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