Sunday 22 April 2018

Court blocks Neymar using yacht and jet

Barcelona's Brazilian forward Neymar (Getty Images)
Barcelona's Brazilian forward Neymar (Getty Images)

A federal court in Sao Paulo has blocked Barcelona striker Neymar from using almost $50 million worth of assets - including a yacht, a jet and several properties. However, an appeal to block the footballer's future earnings was rejected.

The 24-year-old Brazilian, who denies any wrongdoing, is facing charges of tax evasion between 2011 and 2013.

Among the assets frozen are three companies of which he and his father are the principal owners. Prosecutors accuse Neymar of setting up companies as fronts in order to pay a lower rate of tax.

Neymar is accused of not paying 63.3m reals ($15.7m) in taxes between 2011 and 2013. The judge froze three times that amount for security reasons and to cover potential interest and fines, according to a judicial order explaining the seizure. Neymar's total assets were given as 244.2m reais ($60.4m).

Meanwhile, banned FIFA president Sepp Blatter returned to the world governing body's headquarters in Zurich yesterday to appeal against his eight-year suspension from all football-related activity.

It was reported Blatter arrived at 7.30am local time for the appeal hearing, evading journalists and photographers as he entered the premises.

The 79-year-old Swiss was handed the ban in December after he was found guilty of a £1.3m "disloyal payment" to UEFA president Michel Platini in 2011.

Frenchman Platini, who was also served with an eight-year ban for his role in the payment, made his case against his suspension at a FIFA appeal hearing on Monday.

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