Neymar to appear in court over Barcelona transfer
Neymar will appear before a judge to testify in an investigation into alleged irregularities involving his transfer to Barcelona, Spain's national court said yesterday.
Neymar's parents, former Barcelona president Sandro Rosell, and current president Josep Bartomeu also will have to appear before a judge, according to court documents.
The Brazil striker is set to testify on February 2, while Rosell and Bartomeu are expected to be in court on February 1.
The national court last year rejected the request by Neymar and other defendants to throw out a probe into the irregularities. The court is looking into a complaint made by a Brazilian investment group that claims it was financially harmed when Barcelona and Neymar allegedly withheld the real amount of the player's transfer fee from Brazilian club Santos in 2013 in part to avoid paying the full amount of taxes.
Santos' former presidents, Luis Alvaro de Oliveira and Odilio Rodriguez Filho, also have been asked to appear in court, as well as club representatives of both Barcelona and Santos.
The complaint, made in June by investment group DIS, names Neymar, his father, and Barcelona as defendants, along with Rosell and Bartomeu.
The court analysed the complaint and said that there were indications of illegal acts by some of the involved parties in an attempt to disguise the total amount that was paid to the Brazilian club.
The Brazilian investment group was entitled to 40 per cent of Neymar's transfer from Santos, but it claims that it received smaller compensation than it should have because part of the transfer fee was concealed.
Santos officially received a payment of €7.1 million (US$18.5 million) for Neymar's transfer, but investigations in Spain later showed that Barcelona spent nearly €83.3 million (US$90 million) to acquire the Brazilian.