ZURICH: World federation FIFA is refusing to be rushed over the enduring controversy swirling around Brazilian superstar Neymar’s transfer from Santos to Barcelona last summer writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
The turmoil prompted Sandro Rosell to resign as president of the Catalan club nine days ago and subsequently resign his committee roles with European federation UEFA and the European Club Association.
Previously a Spanish judge had sought access to FIFA’s documentation concerning the Neymar move which, it has been revealed, involved signed and paid pre-contracts two years in advance of the player’s move in apparent contravention of international transfer regulations.
However, a FIFA spokesman, in answer to a query from this writer, said: “We can confirm that a Spanish judicial court contacted FIFA via the Real Federación Española de Fútbol requesting information on the transfer of Neymar Da Silva Santos Junior to Barcelona.
“In its answer, FIFA informed the RFEF that any such request of confidential information should be done through the established international judiciary channels.”
It remains uncertain whether the Barcelona member, Jordi Cases, who launched a legal complaint alleging misappropriation of funds by Rosell will pursue his case now that Barcelona have a new president- albeit Josep Bartomeu was vice-president under Rosell.
If that is the case, then FIFA will consider a request only made through judicial process and not via the Spanish federation even though its leader is a senior figure in world football in FIFA vice-president Angel Maria Villar.
FIFA also appears to be holding back from launching its own inquiry into the Neymar transfer until receiving some sort of formal notification.
The spokesperson added: “For the time-being we cannot provide any further comment nor speculate on the opening of any type of investigations by FIFA.”
Clearly, any investigation – which might lead to disciplinary proceedings and sanctions – would be a highly charged issue only month ahead of a World Cup in which Neymar is expected to be the decisive player for host nation Brazil.