Judge opens proceedings for Neymar’s corruption trial


Barcelona is suing Neymar for nearly $12 million, the amount the club believes it overpaid the Brazilian during the time he played in Spain. (Emilio Morenatti/AP)

MADRID — A Spanish judge has set in motion proceedings for Neymar‘s trial on corruption and fraud charges related to his transfer to Barcelona four years ago.

Neymar’s parents, Barcelona president Josep Bartomeu, and former president Sandro Rosell will also stand trial, along with Barcelona and Brazilian club Santos.

The charges were brought after a complaint by a Brazilian investment group which said it received a smaller compensation because part of Neymar’s transfer fee was concealed by those involved.

The judge on Thursday ordered the parties, who will have 10 days to present their formal defence, to set aside a total of $3.7 million, which is the amount allegedly owed to the investment group.

Prosecutors are seeking a two-year prison sentence and a fine of nearly $10 million for Neymar, although he is not likely to face any jail time if found guilty because in Spain sentences of two years or less for first offences are usually suspended.

The trial’s date has not been set.

When submitting content, please abide by our submission guidelines, and avoid posting profanity, personal attacks or harassment. Should you violate our submissions guidelines, we reserve the right to remove your comments and block your account. Sportsnet reserves the right to close a story’s comment section at any time.