Santos seek 6-month ban for Neymar over Barcelona transfer

Brazilian club Santos have asked FIFA to hand Neymar a six-month suspension for what they are calling non-compliance of contract terms during his transfer to Barcelona, Santos president Modesto Roma Jr. said via Catalonia radio on Thursday.

The club are seeking the six-month ban and €55 million in damages, alleging that Neymar did not keep the conditions of a transfer, an unnamed source told Brazilian daily O Globo.

The club is invoking Article 17 of the FIFA transfer rules regarding the consequences of terminating a contract without just cause.

A FIFA committee will now decide whether there is sufficient evidence to suspend the Barcelona star, Roma said.

The FIFA transfer rules state: "In addition to the obligation to pay compensation, sporting sanctions shall also be imposed on any player found to be in breach of contract during the protected period. This sanction shall be a four-month restriction on playing in official matches. In the case of aggravating circumstances, the restriction shall last six months."

Roma said he the suit is less "against Neymar" and more "in favor of the club.

"I filed the case in May. Despite the fact that he is an idol, we are seeking this against Neymar because of things with which we are not in agreement," Roma told Esports Cope in Catalonia on Thursday. "In the transfer things were not clear and transparent. The court and the Spanish prosecutor have proven it, as have the Brazil courts. It is our understanding that FIFA must be involved in the administrative discussion. There are things that are not right and FIFA must pass judgment."

One of Neymar's agents, Wagner Ribeiro, defended his client on Thursday.

"It is absurd what Santos is doing. It is inconstitutional to prohibit a working from going about his labour duties. It makes no sense," Ribeiro told UOL. "I am not worried over it and I doubt Neymar is either. But no matter what, I will meet with Neymar Sr. and with his legal team to analyse the course of action."

The complaint follows the decision by a Brazilian court to freeze the assets of Barcelona star Neymar, his family and related businesses valued at 188.8 million Brazilian reals ($48m, €42m).

A Sao Paulo federal court said last month that the 23-year-old is alleged to have evaded 63m reals in Brazil taxes (almost $16m or €14m) between 2011 and 2013. The Brazil team captain moved in 2013 from Brazilian club Santos to Spain's Barcelona in a transfer whose payment is also under investigation by Spanish tax authorities.