Neymar, FC Barcelona To Stand Trial On Corruption Charges
By Oladapo Okeowo
Brazilian player Neymar, his former club and Barcelona FC will stand trial in Spain on corruption charges over his transfer in 2013 from Brazilian team Santos, after losing a final appeal.
The case relates to a complaint from Brazilian investment group DIS in relation to Neymar’s £43 million move from Brazilian side Santos to Barcelona in 2013.
The group says it was entitled to 40 percent of the transfer fee Barcelona paid Santos for the Brazilian but received a smaller compensation because part of the fee was concealed by those involved.
Santos FC, Neymar’s mother and a company run by the 25-year-old footballer’s parents will also face charges.
“Santos FC, FC Barcelona, Neymar, his mother Nadine Goncalves and N&N, the family company, have lost their appeals to have charges of fraud and corruption dropped,” the Spanish High Court said in a statement on Monday.
Prosecutors are seeking a two-year prison sentence and a fine of nearly £8 million for Neymar and his father on corruption charges.
However, if found guilty, he would likely not do any jail time as a first-time offender.
Added to these, under the Spanish legal system, prison terms of under two years are typically suspended. As occurred with Neymar’s Barca teammate, Lionel Messi.
Messi was, in July 2016, sentenced to 21 months in prison for tax evasion but had the sentence suspended as it was below 2 years.
Prosecutors are also seeking a fine of about £7.2 million for FC Barcelona and £5.6 million for Santos.