NEY­MAR NEARS TRIAL

The Sun (Malaysia) - - SPORTS -

THE prospect of Barcelona su­per­star Ney­mar stand­ing trial moved closer Mon­day as a Madrid judge ac­cepted an ap­peal by pros­e­cu­tors for cor­rup­tion charges to be brought against the Brazil­ian, a court fil­ing said. The de­ci­sion over­turns a rul­ing in July that said ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties de­tected in the Brazil­ian’s 2013 trans­fer to Barcelona were an is­sue for a civil court, not a crim­i­nal one. Ney­mar’s par­ents, Barcelona pres­i­dent Josep Maria Bar­tomeu and his pre­de­ces­sor San­dro Rosell – who re­signed over the scan­dal in 2014 – also face cor­rup­tion charges. Both the de­fence and pros­e­cu­tion have 10 days to present their ar­gu­ments be­fore a final de­ci­sion over whether the case will go to trial will be made, a state­ment from Spain’s Na­tional Court said. Should he be found guilty, Ney­mar, 24, faces a prison sen­tence of be­tween six months and two years and a heavy fine. Barcelona said Mon­day it would ap­peal the judge’s de­ci­sion, with which it ex­pressed its “sur­prise and to­tal dis­agree­ment… par­tic­u­larly given that the same mag­is­trate de­cided to dis­miss the case for all the de­fen­dants last July.” Ac­cord­ing to the judge’s find­ings, a pre-con­tract agree­ment be­tween Ney­mar and Barcelona by which the player re­ceived €40 mil­lion (RM186m) in 2011 to ward off com­pet­ing clubs for his sig­na­ture “al­tered the free mar­ket of foot­ball trans­fers.”

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