Barça fan seeks Neymar signing probe

A Spanish prosecutor on Friday demanded the courts investigate allegations of misappropriation by Barcelona in their €57 million ($78 million) signing of Brazilian star striker Neymar last year.

Barça fan seeks Neymar signing probe
Photo: Josep Lago/AFP

A member of the fan-owned club, currently the Spanish league leaders, has lodged a complaint against its president Sandro Rosell alleging misappropriation of 40 million euros out of the total fee paid for Neymar.

Contracts shown to the courts by the club support "doubts raised in the complaint over the signing", public prosecutor Jose Perals said in a court filing.

He called on the National Audience, Spain's highest criminal court, to launch a judicial investigation into the complaint.

Barcelona has said it paid a total €57 million to sign Neymar Da Silva Santos Junior from Brazilian club Santos in June, but it declined to give full details, citing a need for confidentiality.

The complaint accuses Rosell of misappropriation of funds because members do not know the "real destination" of €40 million supposedly paid to Neymar family business N&N, according to court documents.

The prosecutor said contracts shown to the court by the club on the judge's orders contained conflicting details about what exactly the €40 million were paid for.

"All this justifies at least an investigation into whether the allegations in the complaint are true," he wrote.

The prosecutor called on the judge to ask soccer's governing body FIFA to get hold of more documentation related to the signing, including contractsvfrom Santos.

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Why has the expansion of Barcelona airport prompted mass protests?

Around 10,000 people demonstrated against the expansion of the El Prat airport in Barcelona on Sunday.

Why has the expansion of Barcelona airport prompted mass protests?
People march during a demonstration against the expansion of the Barcelona-El Prat airport. Photo: Pau BARRENA / AFP

Several ecological and agricultural organisations, have demanded that the expansion be stopped due to the fact nearby wetlands and farms would have to be destroyed.

The demonstration took place on Calle Tarragona in the Catalan capital between Plaça d’Espanya and Plaça dels Països Catalans.

The protests still took place, even though last week, Spain suspended the €1.7 billion airport expansion project, citing differences with the Catalan government, after president Pere Aragonès said he wanted to avoid destroying La Ricarda lagoon, a natural reserve next to the airport. 

Environmentalists decided not to call off the march, in case plans for the airport expansion still went ahead.

READ ALSO: Six things you need to know about Barcelona airport’s €1.7 billion planned expansion

Political representatives from ERC, En Comú Podem and the CUP also attended, as well as the leader of Más País, Íñigo Errejón; the Deputy Mayor for Ecology of the Barcelona City Council, Janet Sanz, and the Mayor of El Prat de Llobregat, Lluís Mijoler.

People from neighbourhoods across the city marched towards Calle Tarragona and could be seen holding placards that read Nature yes, airport no and shouting slogans such as “More courgettes and fewer planes” and “Fighting for the climate, health, and life”. 

One of the largest groups of people were those from El Prat de Llobregat, the municipality which is home to the airport, who were led by tractors. 

People march during a demonstration against the expansion of Barcelona-El Prat airport. Photo by Pau BARRENA / AFP

In addition to protesting against the expansion of the El Prat airport, people were also demonstrating against the Winter Olympic Games in the Pyrenees and extensions to airports in Mallorca and Madrid. 

A representative of Zeroport, Sara Mingorría said “We are here to defend not only La Ricarda, but the entire Delta”. 

The philosopher Marina Garcés also argued that the expansion of the airport would mean “more borders, more mass tourism, more control and more precarious jobs.” 

The leader of the commons in the Catalan parliament, Jéssica Albiach, who also attended the protest, asked the PSOE for “coherence”: “You cannot be passing a law against climate change and, at the same time, defend the interests of Aena [the airport operations company]”, she said. 

She also urged the leader of the Generalitat, Pere Aragonès, to “definitely say no. 

If the airport expansion in Barcelona goes ahead, environmentalists say that CO2 emissions would rise by a minimum of 33 percent. These levels would surpass the limits set by the Catalan government’s climate targets.