Neymar Jr Facing Possible 2-year Jail TermNovember 24, 2016 10:30 am
Brazil national team player Neymar Jr may be one of soccer’s most celebrated players, but the 24 year-old striker is currently facing the prospect of spending two years behind bars over corruption charges related to his transfer from Santos to FC Barcelona in 2013.
As well as the stiff prison sentence, Spanish prosecutors are also calling on Neymar to be handed a huge $10.6 million fine. The sportstars will not be facing the music alone, though, as former Barcelona president Sandro Rosell, and Neymar’s father Neymar Santos, Sr will also be standing trial, with Rosell also facing a potential incanceration of three years or more.
The case stems back to 2014, when after having been investigated by the authorities, Neymar’s original transfer fee of €57.1 million ($60.3m) was discovered to have actually been closer to €86.2 million ($91m). The discrepancy was then brought to the attention of authorities by DIS Esporte, after the investment firm filed a legal claim to protect its 40% cut of Neymar’s transfer rights.
Barcelona FC’s former Club VP and current president Josep Maria Bartomeu, was also implicated in the case and was subsequently charged with tax fraud.
In an unconnected case, earlier this summer, Barcelona teammate Lionel Messi was also found guilty of tax fraud of £3.19 million between 2007-09, and subsequently received a 21-month jail sentence. In Spain, however, prison terms of less than two years are usually end up in suspended sentences.
As well as his soccer career, Neymar Jr is a keen poker player and in May 2015 was signed by PokerStars to join the site’s roster of Team PokerStars Sportstars. Over the past year and a half, he has represented PokerStars at various charity events, in addition to a number of international poker tournaments, including the EPT and the WSOP in Las Vegas.