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Spanish court acquits Neymar from fraud charges over Santos-Barcelona transfer

Brazilian international Neymar Jr has been acquitted of fraud and corruption in a case over his 2013 transfer to Barcelona from Santos, according to Reuters.

A Spanish court said in a statement on Tuesday that the prosecution had dropped all charges against Neymar and eight other defendants.

Brazilian investment firm DIS brought the charges. They owned 40% of the rights to Neymar when he was at Santos.

DIS claimed they lost out on a cut from the transfer because the accused parties understated the value.

They accused Barcelona of hiding the cost of Neymar’s transfer to avoid paying DIS what they were due as the partial holder of his player rights.

DIS, which owns a chain of supermarkets in Brazil, wanted the Paris Saint-Germain star to serve a five-year jail term.

Neymar would also have been required to pay a fine of €149 million ($157 million) if found guilty.

The defendants included Neymar’s parents and former Santos manager Odilio Rodrigues Filho. Josep Bartomeu and Sandro Rosell, two former Barcelona presidents, were also defendants.

DIS sued the commercial entities of Barcelona as well as the company founded by Neymar’s parents.

However, Spanish state prosecutors dropped all charges. Luis Garcia Canton asked the Barcelona provincial court to acquit all the defendants. He argued that there was not the slightest hint of a crime.

Neymar is now free from this long-running case and can focus on his football career. He is currently away on a break after crashing out of the 2022 FIFA World Cup with Brazil.

The Selecao exited the tournament after losing on penalties against Croatia.

Neymar thought he scored the winner in the dying minutes with a fine strike. But the Europeans equalised to send the game to penalties and won the tie.

The record five-time World Cup champions have gone 20 years without winning the title.

Neymar will rejoin PSG ahead of the restart of Ligue 1. They face Strasbourg on December 28.

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