Spanish police arrest former Barcelona FC president in graft investigation

Spanish police said today they had arrested former Barcelona football club president Sandro Rosell in a money laundering operation.

Five people were arrested in total, according to a police statement, which said the probe was centred on audiovisual rights sales linked to Brazil's national soccer team.

Rosell is the second former Blaugrana president to be arrested in recent years after Josep Lluis Nunez (president 1978-2000) was sentenced to six years in 2014 after a conviction of bribery and falsifying document in the "Hacienda Case".

Rosell and several others would have later laundered the payments through fictitious companies established in tax heavens. Teixeira resigned from the Brazilian confederation in 2012 citing medical reasons amid widespread allegations of corruption and irregularities in his administration. Rosell was cleared of any wrongdoing at the time.

Along with Neymar, Josep Maria Bartomeu, Barcelona, Santos and the company run by Neymar's parents, Rosell is due to stand trial on fraud and corruption charges after Cases' claims led to a complaint from Brazilian investment company DIS.

Rosell is also accused for Neymar's contract with Barça when he was president.

He and his wife were detained at their home in Barcelona during one of the police raids.

Their lawyers could not be immediately reached for comment.

  • Zachary Reyes