Football: Spanish prosecutors drop fraud charges against Neymar

The Spanish public prosecutor's office on Friday dropped all charges of fraud and corruption against Brazilian footballer Neymar and eight other people in connection with the transfer of the player from Santos to FC Barcelona in 2013, the public prosecutor announced in court.

Speaking at one of the last hearings of this trial, the prosecutor announced "withdraw the accusation against all the defendants and for all the facts" with which they are accused.

The prosecution initially requested two years in prison and ten million euros in fines against the Brazilian star accused of corruption.

In addition to Neymar and his parents, two ex-presidents of Barça – Sandro Rosell and Josep María Bartomeu – and an ex-manager of the Brazilian club Santos, Odilio Rodrigues Filho, are on trial in this trial.

Spanish justice is seeking to determine whether the Brazilian investment company DIS – holder of 40% of the player's rights when he played for the Brazilian club Santos, before his departure for Barcelona – had been defrauded during this transfer.

DIS, which brought the case to court in 2015, believes that it was wronged during this operation and claims that Barça, Neymar and his family and then Santos, in a second step, joined forces to conceal the real amount of the operation and "swindle" him.

She criticizes them for not having informed her of the existence of an exclusive contract signed in 2001 between the player and Barça which, according to her, distorted the transfer window by preventing other clubs from fighting to recruit Neymar. .

Barça initially estimated the cost of the transfer at 57.1 million euros (40 million for Neymar and his family and 17.1 for Santos), but Spanish justice estimates that it actually cost at least 83 million euros. euros.

DIS, which received 6.8 million euros out of the 17.1 officially paid to the Brazilian club, is claiming 35 million euros, the amount it estimates to have lost in the case.

Neymar and his parents denied any irregularities during the hearings.

The player said he did not "remember" to have participated in the negotiations of the exclusive agreement sealed in 2011 and had taken refuge behind his father.

"I sign what he tells me" to sign, he said before his father confirmed that the player had "never participated in the negotiations".

This trial has been dubbed "Neymar 2", "Neymar 1" designating the tax evasion case deriving from this same transfer. It was concluded in 2016 by an agreement between the prosecution and Barça who had agreed to pay a fine of 5.5 million.

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