Neymar to go on trial just weeks before World Cup over alleged corruption

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Neymar is set to go on trial for alleged corruption around his contract at Barcelona just weeks before the World Cup.

The Brazil superstar moved to the Catalan giants nine years ago from Santos for some £71.5 million and it led to one of the biggest legal transfer sagas in football. The move involved dealings on the part of then-club president Sandro Rossell as well as the star’s father and the former director of Santos.

A complaint was filed seven years ago by DIS, a football marketing company that at the time owned some 40% rights to Neymar. They claimed that they had been defrauded by the player and his representatives and family. In 2016, DIS said: "Barcelona and the player broke the FIFA rules and altered free competition in the transfer market."

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And now the case will be heard at a trial in October. Indeed, Spanish outlet El Pais report that it will be held at a court in Barcelona take place just a month before the FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar and the prosecution is pursuing a two-year prison sentence and a fine of £8.4m. This is despite the DIS wanting a five-year sentence for Neymar and an indefinite ban from football.

The prosecution believes that some £7m was evaded in taxes during the transfer in 2013. The attacker’s parents, two former presidents of Barcelona – Rosell and Josep Maria Bartomeu, as well as a former coach of Santos are also accused.

The case has indeed been ongoing for nearly a decade. In January 2014, the prosecutors began their investigation into the fee that was paid to Neymar, and later that month, Rosell resigned from his position as president.

After which, the details of the transfer were revealed by Barcelona: the transfer had in fact cost them £71.5 m, while his parents were handed £33m. Barcelona and Bartomeu were then charged with tax fraud.

Daily Star Sport has approached Neymar's representatives for a response.

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