Spanish court calls for Barcelona forward Neymar to serve two-year prison sentence

Spanish prosecutors have called for Barcelona forward Neymar to be sent to prison for two years for his part in a corruption case over his transfer from Brazilian club Santos in 2013.

Judge Jose Perals also called for a five-year sentence for former Barcelona president Sandro Rosell and a fine of 8.4million euros (£7.2m) for the club.

It asked to drop charges against current president Josep Maria Bartomeu.

Rosell, Neymar and his father are set to stand trial.

The case stems from a complaint by Brazilian investment group DIS, which owned 40% of Neymar’s transfer rights and alleges it received less money than it was entitled to from transfer fee.

Rosell resigned as the club’s president in 2014 for his role in the affair and testified in court in February alongside Bartomeu, Neymar and Neymar’s father.

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The club struck a deal with prosecutors in June to settle a separate case, paid a £4.7m fine and avoided trial on charges of tax evasion over the transfer.

Barcelona thought they had brought the affair to a close when judge Jose de la Mata archived the case in June, although Spain’s public prosecutor successfully overturned the ruling in September, allowing the case to proceed.

Neymar’s Barcelona team-mate Lionel Messi was sentenced to 21 months in prison for tax fraud earlier this year.

He has appealed against the sentence and, under the Spanish legal system, prison terms of under two years are typically suspended.

Since moving to the Nou Camp, 24-year-old Neymar has won two La Liga titles, two Copa del Rey trophies, the Champions League, the European Super Cup, the Spanish Super Cup and the Club World Cup.

He signed a new five-year contract with Barcelona in October. -BBC 

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