BARCELONA

Neymar to face Spanish magistrate this evening

The Brazilian has been summoned to attend a High Court hearing this evening at 17:00 (CET). The player is adamant: "My father looks after my business affairs"
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Neymar to face Spanish magistrate this evening
PAU BARRENA AFP

Neymar will give evidence to magistrate, José De la Mata this evening at the National High Court in Madrid at 5pm. He will do so in his capacity as he is being legally investigated in a corruption and fraud case relating to the deal that saw the player move from Brazilian Serie A side, Santos FC to Barcelona. Neymar signed for the Catalan club in the summer of 2013. The player was originally called to take the stand at 10:00 this morning but his attorney, José Ángel González Franco requested a delay in the player’s court appearance. Neymar’s defence strategy appears straight forward: the player insists that business related matters are handled by his father. Judge De la Mata has also called for both Neymar’s father and mother to declare and both will do so via video-conference technology as co-owners of the company N&N.

Just hours before facing the Spanish legal system, Neymar and his father appeared on Brazilian TV station Globo TV to give their side of the story. The former Santos player alluded to the legal strategy that he and his father expect to employ: “My father looks at other aspects of business so I can just focus on football". But it hurts to see people that you love suffering. Before any more lies are said, let them prove that we were fraudulent in this or that deal”. The player’s father was also adamant stating: “We will not rest until this matter is cleared up as quickly as possible enough is enough”.

The Neymar case has been split into two areas. On one hand, the high court will gather testaments in the two open investigations. One relates to alleged corruption and fraud carried out against the company DIS, who were due to collect 40% of the transfer fee that FC Barcelona paid to Santos for Neymar’s signature. DIS maintains that they should secure 40% of 83.3 million euro, which is the fee the court maintains was the transfer fee and not the 17.1 million euro that Santos declared as part of the deal.

The other legal avenue open, which will be heard in Barcelona, relates to tax and financial wrong-doings. The 40 million euro that was paid to N&N will be studied to reach a decision on whether it was salary or an upfront payment and the tax implications of the conclusion either way. Neymar’s father spoke about this on Globo TV: “The companies were created in 2006, when Neymar was 14 years old. He was too young to work and I am his father. Where’s the problem here? I wanted to protect my son’s image rights”.

For the moment, Neymar will be forced to swallow the bitter pill of having his image projected worldwide as he enters the High Court this evening in the Spanish capital and in Madrid.