July 8 – After a long-running saga, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has cleared Barcelona of any wrongdoing when they signed Brazilian star Neymar from Santos back in 2013.
Santos had launched an appeal claiming they were owed €61,295,000 by Barca in compensation and damages when the player moved to Spain seven years ago,
The on-off transfer has been shrouded in controversy from the beginning. The Catalan side claimed they signed Neymar from Santos for €17 million, though it was later revealed that the total fee came to considerably more. The Brazilian club alleged Barca had broken the rules with payments made to Neymar’s father and the family company N&N. However, on Tuesday CAS ruled Barca did not act illegally.
“The Court of Arbitration for Sport has dismissed the appeal made by Santos to FIFA in which the Brazilian club claimed a payment of €61,295,000 in damages from FC Barcelona and the corresponding sporting bans with regards to the transfer of Neymar Jr.,” a statement said.
“The CAS considers that the contract between Santos and the player was ended by mutual agreement, that FC Barcelona did not infringe any transfer agreement when it paid additional amounts to the father of the player and to the N&N company and that FC Barcelona did not behave in a fraudulent manner when it signed a pre-contract with Neymar Jr nor when it signed a transfer agreement with Santos.
“The CAS verdict compels Santos to pay FC Barcelona’s legal costs, a figure of 20,000 Swiss francs.”
News of the judgement came on the day Barca president Josep Maria Bartomeu said it was “unlikely” that Neymar, who spent four years with the club scoring 105 goals in over 180 appearances in all competitions and winning two league titles and the Champions League, would ever be transferred back to the Nou Camp from PSG as has been rumoured.
After the CAS verdict, Barca said in a statement: “The CAS found that the contract between Santos and Neymar was ended by mutual agreement and that Barcelona did not flout the transfer agreement when it paid additional fees to the player’s father and the firm N&N. Barcelona did not commit any fraudulent conduct when it signed a pre-transfer agreement with Neymar nor when it signed the transfer with Santos.”
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