Barcelona star Neymar ordered to stand trial for fraud in Spanish court

Sylvester Tamang
Barcelona have blocked payment of a 26-million-euro bonus for star attacker Neymar as speculation mounts that he will move to Paris Saint-Germain.

Barcelona striker Neymar has been ordered to stand trial by the Spanish court for fraud regarding his transfer from Santos to the Nou Camp.

The Brazilian made the switch to Catalonia in 2013 after four years with the side where he progressed through the ranks as a youngster.

It has been the subject of an investigation since January 2014, with Barcelona and president Josep Maria Bartomeu being charged with tax fraud.

Also read: Brazil court dismisses Barcelona star Neymar’s initial tax fraud charges

Bartomeu’s final appeal was rejected last week and he must also stand trial over the transfer.

Barca originally claimed they paid €17.1million for the Brazil captain, but a complaint made from a club member prompted a legal case.

That revealed the club had agreed to pay him €40million in wages, leading to an out of court settlement and the resignation of then-president Sandro Rosell.

However, Rosell’s successor, Bartomeu, revealed Los Cules had actually paid €86.2million.

That led to Brazilian investment company DIS bringing the case, claiming it is due a 40 per cent cut of the fee that Barcelona paid to sign Neymar.

DIS say they have not received the full figure given the uncertainty surrounding the final figure.

The Spanish High Court deemed Bartomeu held “management responsibilities” in line with Rosell, despite only being vice- president at the time. He will now be called to give testimony.

The prosecutor’s office says the deal altered “the free market of football players by preventing the player from entering the market in accordance with the rules of free competition”.

The hearing also head that ‘the possibility of committing a crime of corruption between individuals is evident’.