MADRID (AFP) – A Spanish court on Thursday ordered Barcelona s Brazilian star Neymar and his parents to stand trial over alleged fraud and corruption in the player s transfer from Santos in 2013.
The National Court also ordered Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu and his predecessor Sandro Rosell, as well as the two clubs, Barcelona and Brazil s Santos, to be sent to trial over the affair.
They will stand trial for “business corruption and fraud”, the court said in a statement.
Neymar s arrival from Brazil s Santos has been a huge success for the Spanish champions on the pitch but a judicial nightmare off it.
The 25-year-old striker is being investigated in Brazil and Spain over his headline move to La Liga.
Barcelona originally published the transfer figure as 57.1 million euros ($62.3 million), with 40 million euros of that given to the player s family.
But Spanish authorities believe the true transfer figure was at least 83 million euros.
In November, prosecutors recommended that the striker be handed a two-year jail sentence and a fine of 10 million euros for alleged corrupt practices.
Sentences of two years or less are habitually suspended for first time offenders in Spain.
The case initiated with a complaint from Brazilian investment company DIS, which owned 40 percent of Neymar s sporting rights at the time of his transfer.
DIS received just 6.8 million euros — 40 percent of the fee paid to Santos — with the company claiming it was cheated out of its real share because part of the transfer fee was concealed by Barcelona, Santos and the Neymar family.