Spanish court reopens fraud investigation against Neymar

Fri Sep 23, 2016 11:09am EDT
 
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MADRID (Reuters) - Spain's High Court said on Friday it had reopened a fraud and corruption investigation into Brazilian soccer player Neymar over his transfer to Barcelona from Santos, after an appeal by the public prosecutor.

A High Court judge had initially dropped the charges in July against Neymar and his father-cum-agent Neymar Da Silva Santos, as well as against former Barcelona president Sandro Rossell and ex-Santos president Odilio Rodrigues.

Both Brazilian club Santos and Barcelona have come under fire for the way the transfer was handled in 2013, with several investigations carried out in both countries into whether any part of Neymar's fee had been concealed.

Barcelona agreed in June to pay a 5.5-million-euro ($6.17 million) fine to Spanish authorities to settle the case and said it recognized errors in its tax treatment of Neymar's signing for the fiscal years of 2011 and 2013.

Neymar, who has extended his contract with Barcelona until 2021, has denied any wrongdoing in the matter.

The case emerged after various complaints over the transfer price paid by Barcelona to sign Neymar. A Brazilian investment group which owned part of the player's transfer rights said that it had received less money than it was entitled to as Barcelona concealed the fee.

The High Court said in its written ruling on Friday that after reviewing the case and the decision to drop it, it believed there was evidence that possible crimes had been committed.

($1 = 0.8910 euros)

(Reporting by Angus Berwick; writing by Sarah White; editing by Mark Heinrich)

 
Football Soccer - Spanish Liga Santander - Leganes v Barcelona - Butarque stadium, Leganes, Spain 17/09/16 Barcelona's Neymar celebrates a goal. REUTERS/Sergio Perez