Spain’s public prosecutor has called for Barcelona’s Neymar to be given a two-year prison sentence for his part in a corruption case over his transfer from Brazilian club Santos to the La Liga champions in 2013. If found guilty, though, he would not have to serve any jail time, as the Spanish legal system does not lock up first-time offenders on sentences of two years and under.
More dramatically, Judge José Perals also called for a five-year sentence for the former Barcelona president Sandro Rosell and a fine of eight point four million euro for the club, but called for charges against the current president, Josep Maria Bartomeu, to be dropped.
The case stems from a complaint by the Brazilian investment group DIS, which owned 40 percent of Neymar’s transfer rights and which alleges it received less money than it was entitled to as Barcelona concealed the real transfer fee.
Barcelona has been engulfed in legal troubles over Neymar’s transfer since 2013. 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.
The club struck a deal with prosecutors in June to settle a separate case and paid a five-and-a-half-million-euro fine and avoided trial on charges of tax evasion over the transfer. Barcelona thought they had brought the affair to a close when judge José de la Mata archived the case in June, although the public prosecutor successfully overturned the ruling in September, allowing the case to proceed.