Superstar Neymar likely to face 6 years in prison over alleged transfer corruption


Brazilian football star Neymar could face up to six years in prison over corruption allegations linked to his 2013 transfer to Barcelona, according to reports.

The ex-Barcelona forward is awaiting trial in Spain along with his parents, Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu, and ex-Barcelona chief Sandro Rosell over allegations of irregularities when the player joined the Catalan club from Santos in Briazil 5 years ago.

According to reports in Spain, the authorities have now referred the case to the Criminal Chamber in front of three judges, meaning a sentence of more than five years can be imposed.

A Spanish magistrate leading the investigation has warned that those involved could risk up to six years in prison should they be found guilty.

Initial details of the transfer were closely guarded, but the fee was reported as being €57.1 million, with the player and his family reportedly receiving a €40 million chunk of that amount, while Santos pocketed €17.1 million.

Former Santos president Odilio Rodrigues Filho is expected to answer fraud charges, as are the Brazilian club, Barcelona, and Bartomeu and Rosell, according to reports.

Neymar was cleared of fraud last year, but the Spanish authorities said he should still stand trial over corruption allegations, although no date has been set.

The player himself has argued that the case should be heard in a Brazilian court, rather than a Spanish one.

Neymar left the Catalan giants Barcelona for Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) for a world record fee of €222 million in the summer of 2017.