Spanish prosecutors said on Friday that they cleared Neymar and several others of corruption and fraud charges related to the Brazilian football star’s transfer to FC Barcelona.
Prosecutors initially argued that Neymar should receive a two-year prison term and €10 million ($9.97 million) fine for conspiring to conceal the true price of his transfer to the Spanish team from Brazilian firm DIS, which owned 40% of the football player’s rights at the time.
Neymar’s parents, two ex-presidents of FC Barcelona and the ex-head of the Brazilian football team Santos all faced charges.
However, after hearing weeks of testimony from several high-profile witnesses, Spanish authorities decided to acquit everyone involved.
“There is no evidence or proof, only allegations. Or at least it hasn’t been demonstrated,” said prosecutor Luis Garcia Canton. “Brazilian civil law and FIFA codes were broken, but not (Spain’s) penal code.”
Yet Brazilian firm DIS is still pressing forward with private charges against everyone except Neymar’s mother.
DIS argues that it lost out on millions of dollars when Neymar signed a €40 million contract with FC Barcelona in 2011 behind its back, which did not figure into the official transfer price.
Spanish prosecutors found nothing criminal about the move.
“The €40 million paid for Neymar was a signing bonus, not a bribe,” said Garcia Canton.