Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) playmaker Neymar, one of the highest paid athletes in the world, was approved to receive a $120 (600 Brazilian real) welfare payment meant for low-paid Brazilian workers affected by the coronavirus pandemic, in a possible case of identity theft, a report said.
Neymar's name, date of birth and Brazilian ID number were used to register for the stimulus payment from the federal government, local news site UOL reported.
As per UOL, the request was approved and entered in the payment schedule but was later frozen and the status read "under evaluation", possibly due to non-compliance with the requirements.
UOL reported his staff as saying that Neymar "obviously never applied for this benefit, and does not know who would have done so."
Under contract at PSG with estimated earnings of $95.5 million this year and the record for most expensive football transfer in history, at ¬222 million, Neymar, obviously, does not qualify. The emergency payments are meant to help Brazilians employed in the informal sector "such as cleaners or cooks "who have lost their jobs and earnings during the lockdown to contain the virus.
Brazil is one of the hardest hit countries by the coronavirus pandemic. It has the third-highest death toll globally, at more than 34,000, only behind the US and Britain.