On Tuesday, a Spanish court cleared Brazilian superstar Neymar of corruption accusations connected to his 2013 move from Santos to Barcelona.
According to a statement from the court, the judges decided to clear the nine defendants who were accused in this case, including FC Barcelona, former club presidents Josep Maria Bartomeu and Sandro Rosell, Santos FC, and Neymar’s father.
Midway through October in Barcelona, Neymar’s high-profile trial began. This was less than a month before the World Cup in Qatar, where the 30-year-old, who is now playing for French champions Paris Saint-Germain, and Brazil, were eliminated after a penalty shootout against Croatia in the quarterfinals.
Neymar had initially faced a two-year prison sentence and a $10 million fine, but at the end of October, the prosecution unexpectedly dismissed all counts of corruption and fraud against all the defendants.
When Neymar was playing for Santos, the Brazilian sports investment company DIS owned 40% of his athletic rights. In 2015, the company filed a lawsuit, alleging fraud during the player’s move to Barcelona.
It asserted that Neymar, Barcelona, and the Brazilian club conspired to conceal the exact cost of the player’s transfer, defrauding it of its rightful portion of the transfer fee.
Additionally, DIS claimed that it was not made aware of the exclusivity agreement signed by Neymar and Barcelona in 2011.
However, Spanish prosecutors, who at first agreed with DIS, eventually stated that the firm’s claims were not supported by “evidence.”
They came to the conclusion that the case belonged in civil court, not criminal.
The case went forward despite the fact that the prosecution dropped its charges since the court was also taking into account a separate indictment brought by DIS in accordance with Spanish law.
DIS was attempting to recoup 35 million euros that it felt it had been defrauded of.