Madrid court re-opens case against Neymar for Barcelona transfer
A fraud case against Neymar and his father relating to the Brazilian international’s 2013 transfer to Barcelona has been re-opened following an appeal by Spanish prosecutors.
Judge Jose de la Mata had ruled in July that FIFA regulations were “clearly not properly followed” but declared that the issue was not one for the criminal court to settle, claiming it was a matter for a civil court.
But prosecutors successfully argued on Friday that both Neymar and his father were aware of potentially fraudulent dealings between Barcelona and his former club Santos.
The complainant is DIS, a Brazilian investment company that feels it is due more money from the deal. It owned 40 percent of the player’s sporting rights when he completed his transfer to Camp Nou three years ago.
Barca had initially claimed the transfer fee was €57.1 million, only to later admit to paying much more for the 24-year-old.
The majority of the undeclared fee went to companies controlled by Neymar Sr. -- only €17.1m went to Santos, with DIS getting 40 percent of that amount -€6.8m.
Barcelona manager Luis Enrique doesn’t feel the latest developments will affect the player’s form.
The Catalan side travel to Sporting Gijon in La Liga on Saturday with extra emphasis placed on Neymar’s performances following an injury to Lionel Messi.
“If there is a player accustomed to these type of situations...” Luis Enrique responded when asked for his opinion on the case being re-opened.
“And if there’s a club accustomed to these situations it’s Barcelona. We’re accustomed to things which have nothing to do with football.”
In a separate case, Barcelona agreed to pay a €5.5m fine earlier this year with president Josep Maria Bartomeu admitting “a mistake in tax planning” when signing Neymar.
They also made a voluntary payment €13.6m in 2014 when initially charged with tax fraud over the transfer, but they have always denied any wrongdoing.