Neymar summoned to testify before court on February 2

Barcelona, Jan 13 (IANS) Spanish national court judge Jose de la Mata has summoned FC Barcelona’s Brazilian forward Neymar to testify on February 2 regarding the ongoing controversy over his move from Brazilian side Santos to the football club.

The court also called Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu, as well as his predecessor Sandro Rosell, to hear what they have to say concerning the lawsuit filed by Brazilian company DIS, which owns part of Neymar’s federal rights, reports Efe.

Neymar’s father has also been summoned as well as the representative of the N&N sports consultation firm, which he owns.

Additionally, the court also subpoenaed the former presidents of Santos, Odilo Rodriguez and Luis Alvaro de Oliveira, who were involved in Neymar’s move to Barcelona, and who will be testifying on the same day as Bartomeu and Rosell.

Javier Faus, Barcelona’s former vice president for economic affairs, has also been summoned in February.

The lawsuit by DIS was filed against these six individuals, the Spanish and the Brazilian clubs, as well as the N&N firm, in which DIS has accused them of committing corruption and fraud while concluding Neymar’s move to Barcelona.

DIS claims that it has the right to acquire 40 percent of Neymar’s deal, and confirms that it has received this percentage out of 17.1 million euros ($18.4 million), which Barcelona said it paid to Santos in return for the player’s rights, while the investigators of the Spanish court priced the real value of the deal at 83.3 million euros (around $90 million).

The prosecution claims that the deal is marred by an alleged fraud, through which Barcelona evaded tax of 13 million euros ($14 million) between 2011 and 2014.

The Spanish prosecution demanded that Bartomeu be imprisoned for two years and three months, and Roselli for seven years and six months, and to impose a fine of 3.8 million euros ($4.1 million) and 25.1 million euros ($27.1 million) against the two defendants respectively, in addition to obliging Barcelona to pay 11.4 million euros ($12.3 million) as compensation to the Spanish treasury, as well as a fine of 22.2 million euros ($24 million).

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