The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has rejected Brazilian club Santos’ case against FC Barcelona, the Spanish club said in a statement on Tuesday.
Santos had dragged the La Liga champions to CAS in relation to the signing of Neymar in 2013.
They had presented a claim to football’s world governing body FIFA in 2015 asking for 61,295,000 euros (69.21 million dollars) in compensation and damages.
This was after Barca made a payment to Neymar’s father and the family company N&N before signing the Brazil forward for an initial fee of 57 million euros.
“The CAS found that the contract between Santos and Neymar was ended by mutual agreement and that FC Barcelona did not flout the transfer agreement when it paid additional fees to the player’s father and the firm N&N,” Barca said.
“FC 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 dollars).
Neymar’s transfer from his boyhood club to FC Barcelona was shrouded in legal troubles, leading Spain’s High Court to launch a fraud and corruption investigation into the player.
The Brazilian had denied any wrongdoing over the value of his transfer.
The investigation also led to Barca’s then president Sandro Rosell, who brokered the deal, resigning from the club in 2014.
Neymar enjoyed a trophy-laden four years at FC Barcelona.
He formed a world-beating front three with Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez before joining Paris St-Germain (PSG) for a world record fee of 222 million euros.
Neymar then sued Barca over the partial payment of a loyalty bonus worth 26 million euros but lost the case.
He was ordered to pay his former club 6.7 million euros for breach of the last contract he signed with them in 2016.
In spite of their legal battles, the Brazilian tried to force through a return to FC Barcelona last year and refused to train with PSG at one point.
But the Catalans ultimately failed to meet the French side’s asking price.
Barca were expected to make another swoop for him this summer.
But president Josep Maria Bartomeu said on Wednesday the club were unlikely to make another offer for Neymar due to the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.(Reuters/NAN)