Spanish court orders Barca’s Neymar to stand trial for fraud

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A Spanish court ordered Neymar and his parents to stand trial over alleged fraud and corruption.

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.

2017-05-05

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