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Barcelona star Neymar will stand trial for alleged fraud and corruption in the transfer that brought him to Catalonia in 2013. Spanish prosecutors have recommended he is handed a two-year jail sentence.
Barcelona forward Neymar and his parents will stand trial over alleged fraud and corruption, making the Brazilian the latest football superstar to have to take the stand, a Spanish court ordered on Thursday.
The National Court also ordered Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu and his predecessor Sandro Rosell to be sent to trial over alleged fraud and corruption over Neymar's transfer from Santos in 2013.
They will stand trial for "business corruption and fraud", the court said in a statement. The two clubs, Barcelona and Brazil's Santos, were also ordered to stand trial.
Neymar, 25, is being investigated in Brazil and Spain over his headline move to the 24-time Spanish league champions. The case initiated with a complaint from Brazilian investment company DIS, which owned 40 percent of Neymar's sporting rights at the time of his transfer.
DIS received just 6.8 million euros - 40 percent of the 17 million euros fee paid to Santos - with the company claiming it was cheated out of its real share because part of the transfer fee was concealed by Barcelona, Santos and the Neymar family.
But the court suspects Santos was actually paid 25 million euros, which would mean DIS was cheated out of 3.5 million euros.
Barcelona originally published the transfer figure as 57.1 million euros, with 40 million euros of that given to the player's family and the rest to Santos.
DIS has called for five-year sentences for Neymar and his parents - who acted as the player's representatives - eight years for Rosell and Bartomeu plus a mammoth 195 million euro fine for Barca.
Spanish prosecutors have recommended that Neymar be handed a two-year jail sentence and fined 10 million euros. Sentences of two years or less are habitually suspended for first time offenders in Spain.
mds/dv (AFP, dpa)