Los 40 USA
Sign in to commentAPP
spainSPAINchileCHILEcolombiaCOLOMBIAusaUSAmexicoMEXICOlatin usaLATIN USAamericaAMERICA

SOCCER

Why was Dani Alves a flight risk after arrest over sexual-assault allegations?

Footballer Dani Alves has been remanded without bail after being accused of sexually abusing a woman at a nightclub in Barcelona in December.

Footballer Dani Alves has been remanded without bail after being accused of sexually abusing a woman at a nightclub in Barcelona in December.
ULISES RUIZAFP

Brazilian footballer Dani Alves has been detained on remand at a Barcelona prison over accusations that he sexually assaulted a woman at a nightclub in the city at the end of December.

“Numerous contradictions” in Alves police statement

On Friday, having returned to Spain from Mexico - where he has been playing his club football - Alves gave a voluntary statement to police in the Catalan capital. However, he offered a version of events that is said to have had “numerous contradictions”, leading a Spanish judge to order his provisional detention, without the possibility of bail.

It is clear from this ruling that Alves was deemed a flight risk.

Financial means, lack of Spanish roots

Firstly, because the 39-year-old - who on Friday had his contract terminated by Liga MX club Pumas - has the financial means to leave Spain. According to the specialist website Celebrity Net Worth, he has a total fortune amounting to some $60 million.

What’s more, Alves spent more than 10 years in Spain, playing first for Sevilla then for Barcelona, but he doesn’t have strong roots in the country that could dissuade him from fleeing. His most significant link to Spain is his wife, model Joana Sanz, who is from the Canary Islands.

See also:

No Spain-Brazil extradition treaty

Thirdly, Spain does not have an extradition treaty with Brazil. Were Alves to return to his native country, it would be very difficult to bring him back to Spanish soil to face charges.

One only has to look at the case of Alves’ former Brazil team-mate Robinho, who an Italian court has sentenced to nine years in prison for sexual assault. Italy requested his extradition in early 2022, but the ex-Real Madrid, AC Milan and Manchester City player remains in South America.

Severity of punishment also a factor

Finally, Alves might also have been encouraged to leave Spain by the stiff sentence that he could be facing. If convicted, he could be sent to prison for between four and 12 years.