Neymar could face five-year potential jail term for fraud and corruption

The testimony to begin on October 21.
Neymar- Source (Twitter)

FC Barcelona player Neymar has landed himself in hot soup as he will stand trial next week for fraud and corruption charges. The row is over his transfer from Santos to Barcelona which happened in 2013. The complainant which is the Brazilian firm DIS said on 13 October that it demanded a five-year jail term for the footballer.

The complaint by DIS states that the company owned 40 per cent of the rights to Neymar when he played at Santos. DIS  believes that it has lost out on its rightful share from the transfer because it alleged that the true value of the deal was understated.

Apart from Neymar, his parents, Barcelona and former club presidents Josep Maria Bartomeu and Sandro Rosell, along with Odilio Rodrigues, the former Santos president, are the defendants in the trial. DIA bought 40 per cent of the rights to Neymar when he was a 17-year-old, for an amount of €2m. He denied the allegations on the same in 2017. But he lost out on an appeal in Spain’s high court in 2017 which gave way to the trial.

‘Transfer from one club to another depends on the free will of the player’

“Neymar’s rights have not been sold to the highest bidder. There were clubs that offered up to 60 million euros,” Paulo Nasser, the DIS lawyer, was quoted as saying in the Indian Express, told in Barcelona on Thursday. Baker McKenzie, who will be defending Neymar and his family in the trial told Reuters that they would argue the Spanish courts lack jurisdiction to prosecute Neymar’s family as the transfer involved Brazilian nationals in Brazil.

“The rules of free competition do not operate since the transfer from one club to another depends on the free will of the player,” a Baker McKenzie spokesman told Reuters. The court in Barcelona where the trial will be held said Neymar will have to appear in person on Monday for the first day, but it is not clear whether he will be asked to stay for the whole hearing which could go on for two weeks. The Testimony of Neymar and his parents Rosell and Bartomeu will start next Friday.

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