Played no part in Neymar signing: Barca president

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Madrid, Feb 14 (IANS) FC Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu testified that he had no part in drawing up the contract to sign Brazilian striker Neymar in the summer of 2013.

Bartomeu testified before judge Pablo Ruz after being indicted for a possible charge of tax evasion, which saw the club not pay 2.8 million euros (slightly over $3 million) to the Spanish treasury, Xinhua reported Friday.

This is linked to the fact that Neymar is reported to have cost Barca 94.8 million euros, rather than the 57.1 million euros the club had confirmed as the true price.

The current Barca president, who replaced Sandro Rosell, was forced to resign as a result of the scandal.

He testified that although he had formed part of a small group of people who had taken part in the signing process, he had not intervened in the negotiation process of drawing up the contract.

He admitted that he had signed the contract but insisted that was because he had no reason to suspect any irregularities, and pointed out that in taking over the presidency he had instructed Barca to pay 13.5 million euros to the treasury to leave everything in order.

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