A Spanish court has acquitted football star Neymar and his fellow defendants in a fraud and corruption trial related to the Brazilian’s 2013 transfer from Santos to Barcelona.
The plaintiff, Brazilian company DIS, had accused Neymar, his father, and the former presidents of Santos and Barcelona of having intentionally hid the cost of his transfer to avoid paying DIS what it was due as the partial holder of his player rights.
However, the court said in a statement on Tuesday that “it has not been proven that there was a false contract or that DIS was intended to be harmed”.
The verdict is not a surprise following the decision by Spanish state prosecutors to drop all charges during the trial. That left only the lawyers of DIS to continue arguing their case.
DIS had initially sought a five-year prison sentence for the 30-year-old Neymar. But following the withdrawal of the state prosecutors, DIS’ lawyers reduced their demands to two-and-a-half years of prison.