19th September 2020
Sandro Rosell trial
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Trial of former Barça boss Rosell kicks off

Former FC Barcelona president Sandro Rosell went on trial today in Madrid for money laundering, Spain’s National Court said.

Rosell, his wife and four others are accused of ‘large-scale money laundering’ of at least 19.9m euros since 2006, relating to television rights and sponsorship in Brazil.

The 54-year-old was due to take the stand on Monday or Tuesday.

By early afternoon on Monday, he had still not spoken as the court examined procedural issues.

Prosecutors at the Madrid-based National Court have called for the ex-Barça boss to be jailed for 11 years and fined 59m euros.

Rosell and his wife are accused of hiding money illegally obtained by Ricardo Teixeira, the former head of the Brazilian Football Confederation.

Sandro Rosell trial
Former Barça president Sandro Rosell (left) attends the first hearing in his trial over money laundering at the National Court in Madrid on 25 February 2019. (Fernando Villar / POOL / AFP)

Rosell, who has been in pre-trial custody since May 2017, had previously lived and worked in Brazil, where he forged numerous business links.

The case centres on a deal signed by Teixeira in 2006 with a company based in the Cayman Islands for the television rights to 24 Brazil friendly matches.

Altogether, Rosell and his wife allegedly received close to 15m euros in their accounts as part of the deal.

They pocketed 6.6m euros with 8.4m destined for Teixeira, prosecutors say.

Teixeira has been indicted by US Justice Department prosecutors investigating the FIFA corruption scandal.

Rosell is also suspected of having received some five million euros illicitly as part of Nike‘s sponsorship deal with the Brazilian team.

He is also accused of setting up a ‘criminal organisation’ along with his wife and the four others.

He resigned as Barcelona president in 2014 over the murky transfer dealings that brought Brazilian striker Neymar to the club from Santos.

He was later cleared of all charges in connection with an alleged tax fraud case over the transfer following an agreement with prosecutors.

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