Brazilian superstar, Neymar, could face up to six years in prison as investigation by a Spanish magistrate have uncovered alleged irregularities in striker’s move to Barcelona in 2013.
“The term imposed, in principle, could be between four and six years,” said a decree issued by judge Jose Maria Vazquez Honrubia, a copy of which was seen by AFP.
Also caught in the web of alleged corruption in the move of the star to the Spanish club are Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu, his parents and his predecessor Sandro Rosell.
The case, which follows a complaint by DIS, a Brazilian group which part-owned the rights to Neymar, surrounds allegations of “corruption” and “fraud” in the player’s move to Barcelona
Neymar moved to the Spanish La Liga giants in May 2013 for a reported fee of 57.1m euros. Although no financial details of the deal were revealed by either Barcelona or his Brazilian club FC Santos, Neymar’s parents were said to have received 40m euros and FC Santos 17.1m.
Contradictory information contained in the transfer document of the player prompted investigation to be launched on the deal In January 2014 by prosecutors in Madrid.
DIS, who received 6m euros of the 17.1m given to FC Santos, alleges that Barcelona and the Brazilian club colluded to mask the true cost of the deal.
Rosell resigned from his post as president a week later and Barcelona subsequently revealed they had actually paid 86.2m euros for the Brazilian star.
In May 2017 the Spanish authorities said Neymar should stand trial but no date has yet been set.