LAUSANNE: The Court of Arbitration for Sport has rejected Brazilian club Santos’ complaint against over the signing of Neymar back in 2013.
Santos had a first claim rejected by world governing body FIFA in 2015 when they demanded €61,295,000 in compensation and damages after it emerged that Barcelona had negotiated secret deals with Neymar’s father and the family company N&N before signing the Brazil forward for an initial fee of €57m.
A Barcelona statement said: “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.”
The statement added that Santos had been ordered by CAS to pay Barca’s legal fees of 20,000 Swiss Francs ($21,253.99).
Santos released a statement saying the club “regretted but respected the decision.”
The behind-the-scenes complexity of Neymar’s transfer from Santos to Barcelona prompted Spain’s High Court to launch a fraud and corruption investigation.
One of the consequences was the resignation from the Barcelona presidency of Sandro Rosell.
Neymar enjoyed a trophy-laden four years at Barcelona and formed a world-beating front three with Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez before joining Paris Saint-Germain for a world record fee of €222m.
Neymar then sued Barca over the partial payment of a loyalty bonus worth €26m but lost the case and was ordered to pay his former club €6.7m for breach of the last contract he signed with them in 2016.