Football: Neymar hails multi-million euro tax victory

Barcelona's Neymar celebrates after a match.
Barcelona's Neymar celebrates after a match.PHOTO: REUTERS

RIO DE JANEIRO (AFP) - Barcelona superstar Neymar claimed "a great victory" on Thursday (March 16) after seeing a €50 million (S$75 million) fine imposed by Brazilian tax authorities reportedly halved on appeal.

Neymar, who has also been fighting a legal battle over his transfer from Santos to Barcelona in 2013, had argued that he was within his rights to have his family control his lucrative image rights.

Brazilian prosecutors had insisted that such a procedure encouraged tax evasion.

The new financial calculation has not been made, but the Folha de Sao Paulo newspaper estimated Thursday that the original fine of 188 million reais (S$75 million) imposed in March 2016 could be halved.

"We won a great victory, which belongs to God. Our family businesses have been recognized as legitimate," the player's father Neymar Santos said on social media.

On Wednesday, a financial appeals court (Carf), a body linked to the Economy Ministry, quashed two convictions against the player in relation to irregularities in the payment of taxes on deals through two companies created by his father. However, three other convictions were upheld.

Neymar has also been fighting lengthy legal battles over his move to Barcelona in 2013.

Barcelona had originally published the transfer figure as €57.1 million, with €40 million of that given to the player's family.

But Spanish authorities believed the true transfer figure was at least €83 million.

In December last year, a Spanish court ratified a deal that left Barcelona with a €5.5-million fine but avoiding trial on tax evasion charges over the contested 2013 transfer.