Spanish league to file PSG complaint over Neymar

AFP
Spain's football league chief Javier Tebas says he will file a complaint with UEFA for financial fair play breaches against Paris Saint-Germain over its pursuit of Neymar.
AFP
AFP

Real Madrid goalkeeper Keylor Navas attempts to block the ball from Neymar of Barcelona during their preseason International Champions Cup match at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, Florida, on July 29, 2017. Barcelona won 3-2.

Spain's football league chief Javier Tebas said he will file a complaint with UEFA for financial fair play breaches against Paris Saint-Germain over its pursuit of Brazilian superstar Neymar.

PSG is rumored to be weighing up a bid for the Barcelona forward at more than 200 million euros (US$263 million), enough to trigger the 25-year-old's transfer release clause.

"La Liga will file this complaint because it's a problem for La Liga's competitiveness. Today it's happened to Barca, tomorrow it could happen to Real Madrid, it's happened to Atletico Madrid," Tebas, the La Liga chairman, told Mundo Deportivo.

Should PSG bid, and then pay, the 222 million euros needed to prise Neymar from the Catalan capital, it would struggle to meet UEFA's financial fair play conditions that limit a team to losses of no more than 30 million euros over a three-year cycle.

And that is despite a mega-money sponsorship deal with the Qatar tourism board.

According to Tebas, "no-one believes" the commercial revenue figures presented by PSG to justify its spending.

"PSG cannot have figures in which PSG's commercial rights exceed those of Real Madrid and Barcelona," said Tebas.

"No-one believes that. We've carried out economic studies and it's impossible.

"It means that the Qatari state is injecting money and that violates UEFA's financial fair play rules and the European Union's norms of economic competition, and we're going to file a complaint."

In 2014, PSG was fined 60 million euros and handed transfer spending restrictions by UEFA for breaching financial fair play rules.

UEFA's Club Financial Control Body has also stated that PSG's 200 million euros a year image rights contract with the Qatari tourist board is inflated and double its "true value".

PSG is owned by Oryx Qatar Sports Investments.

Barcelona, meanwhile, drew first blood against Real ahead of the new season with a 3-2 victory in a pulsating Clasico friendly in Miami, Florida, on Saturday, Reuters reports.

The historic rivals will meet again twice in August in the Spanish Super Cup and this International Champions Cup match set the entertainment bar high, with Barcelona maintaining its 100 per cent record in preseason.

"Physically we are in good shape, the team is winning, we just have to correct our errors," Barcelona midfielder Sergio Busquets told Premier Sports.

"We're happy for the win, it was a lot of fun for the fans because there were a lot of chances, although the players suffered in the heat and humidity."

Preseason tour

While Barcelona beat Juventus and Manchester United, Real's defeat means it ends its preseason tour of the United States without a victory.

"I don't care much about the defeat, it always hurts but right now it's not the important thing," said Real coach Zinedine Zidane.

"It's preseason. The results haven't gone as hoped for but it will not change anything. The important thing is to be ready for August 8 (when Real faces Manchester United in the European Super Cup)."

Real was missing Cristiano Ronaldo, still on holiday, but both teams were close to full strength.

Ernesto Valverde, getting a taste of Clasico drama early in his career as Barcelona manager, selected Neymar despite speculation swirling over the Brazilian's future at the club.

However, it was stalwart Lionel Messi who opened the scoring after just three minutes, firing home with the help of a deflection, before Ivan Rakitic doubled the lead with a powerful drive from Neymar's low pass.

The sell-out crowd at the Hard Rock Stadium were in for a thrilling night and Real fought its way back into the game with Mateo Kovacic drilling home expertly, before Marco Asensio equalized in the 36th minute after a lightning break.

After a prolonged halftime break with music, lights and fireworks shows more akin to the National Football League's Super Bowl, the game restarted at the same hectic pace.

Gerard Pique sent Barcelona ahead again in the 50th by flicking home Neymar's curling free-kick, and it proved to be the match-winning goal.

It was the first time the teams met in a friendly since 1991 and only the second time outside of Spain. Given its success, the spectacle is likely to be repeated.

Barcelona lifted a trophy after the game but Valverde will be focused on ensuring the Catalans can impose themselves in the same way when these teams meet in two weeks at the Nou Camp, this time with real silverware at stake.


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