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Prosecutor asks for 2-year jail term for Barcelona star Neymar

Madrid, Nov 23 (IANS) The prosecutor at the Spanish National Court on Wednesday asked for a two-year prison sentence for FC Barcelona's striker Neymar Junior for corruption in relation to the contracts he signed with the reigning La Liga football champions between 2011 and 2013.

The prosecutor also asked for a five-year jail term for former Barcelona president Sandro Rosell for corruption and fraud as well as a fine of 8.4 million euros (around $9 million) for FC Barcelona, reports Xinhua.

He did, however, drop charges against current Barcelona President Josep Maria Bartomeu who was Rosell's vice president when Neymar was signed.

The case came about as the prosecutor believes that in 2011 Barcelona promised to pay Neymar, who then played for Brazilian side Santos de Sao Paulo, 40 million euros ($42.2 million) to make sure he would sign with them when his contract expired and he was a free agent.

This not only went against global football governing body FIFA's rules, but also affected free competition between clubs and means that a company named DIS, which then owned 40 percent of Neymar's rights, also lost out financially.

DIS had earlier asked for a 5-year prison sentence for Neymar and 8-year terms for Rosell and Bartomeu, while also demanding that Neymar be forbidden from playing for the length of the trial.

Neymar recently extended his contract with Barcelona until 2021.

--IANS

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