Barcelona star Neymar ordered to appear in court over fraud allegations
Barcelona star and 2015 Ballon d’Or nominee, Neymar Jr, has been ordered to appear in court over fraud allegations. The Brazilian is supposed to appear in Spain’s national court on the 2nd of February.
Along with him, his parents, Barcelona’s president Josep Maria Bartomeu, ex-Barca president Sandro Rosell and two other directors from Neymar’s former club Santos have all been called to court in order to give evidence.
They are to testify regarding Neymar’s controversial transfer from Santos to Barcelona in 2013. The switch from Brazil to Spain involved a disputed fee, a trouble that has followed Neymar like a shadow since then.
Neymar left for Barcelona from Santos for a fee worth €57 million (£48.6m). Former Barca president Sandro Rosell was forced to step down from his post in 2014 after another legal case was filed by another club member regarding his transfer fee accusing the then club president to be directly involved in the deal.
During Neymar’s transfer a company called DIS owned a percentage of his registration and they have also taken legal action claiming that they did not receive the amount of money that they were promised earlier.
Neymar and his father were already under the scanner of the law for alleged allegations of tax fraud. Between 2011 to 2013, Neymar had allegedly evaded £10.5 million in Brazil taxes. The tax fraud, if proven, might throw Neymar out of Spain.
Santos had also urged FIFA to ban Neymar for six month owing to the lack of monetary transparency when he moved from his former club to Barcelona. A Brazilian court had also frozen £31.3 million worth of assets registered in the name of Neymar and his father, in the company that they own together.
Neymar’s future linked to Spanish legal issues
Neymar’s future in Barcelona and his future as a footballer depends largely upon the results of this investigation. The 23 year old forward’s father has expressed concerns over his son’s future and his reputaion. As Manchester United are also apparently interested in the winger’s services a blemish in his name might ruin any chances that Neymar might have to either renew his contract at Barcelona or make a move to Old Trafford.
“We are talking about renewal but we need to solve some things. We need to know if Spain accepts our situation. It's hard for us because we are receiving many attacks, from Brazil and from Spain,” Neymar’s father had said.
Along with the anxiety grows Neymar’s fame as a player. He was one of the three contenders for the Ballon d’Or this year alonside Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.