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Neymar to face trial over transfer irregularities

.Neymar da Silva Santos Junior, known as Neymar, is due to face trial in October over alleged irregularities in his transfer to Barcelona, according to judicial sources.

Agency reports on Wednesday said the Brazilian international, his parents, and former Barcelona presidents Sandro Rosell and Josep Maria Bartomeu will be tried for alleged corruption related to the striker’s move from Santos to Barcelona in 2013.

Rosell and Bartomeu will also face fraud charges in the trial which is scheduled to take place from October 17 to 31.

Neymar left Barcelona for Paris Saint-Germain in 2017 for a world-record 222 million euros; but it is his move from boyhood club Santos to Barca which has caused controversy.

The case stems from a complaint by Brazilian group DIS, the former owner of a percentage of the player’s rights.

Barcelona officially said the transfer cost 57.1 million euros ($63.6 million), with 40 million euros going to Neymar’s family and 17.1 million to Santos, but Spanish prosecutors later said it actually cost at least 83.3 million euros.

The DIS, which received 6.8 million of the 17.1 million euros paid to Santos, have alleged that Barca and Neymar joined forces to hide the real amount of the transfer.

The prosecution has requested a two-year prison sentence for Neymar, but he has insisted he was only focused on football and that he blindly trusted his father, who is also his agent.

The trial, which will be held at the Provincial Court of Barcelona, is scheduled to run until October 31.

Although Neymar has continued to deny any wrongdoing, Spain’s High Court did in 2017 reject appeals by the player, his parents, &the two clubs, paving the way for the case to go to court.

Writing by Marian Benjamin; Editing by Omotola Oguneye and Tony Okerafor