Neymar's dad says family won't bail Alves out


The father of Brazil star Neymar Jr. said Thursday that his family won’t pay the €1 million ($1.1 million) required to bail Dani Alves out of a Spanish prison, where the former Brazil defender awaits the result of an appeal to his rape conviction.

Neymar da Silva Santos Sr. said in a statement on behalf of his family that they financially supported Alves during his trial, but that they won’t do it again since the former player was found guilty of sexually assaulting a woman in a Barcelona nightclub in 2022.

“For us, for my family, this matter is over. Full stop,” Neymar da Silva Santos Sr. said.

The 40-year-old Alves was sentenced to four years, six months in prison. He is being held at a jail outside Barcelona.

Neymar’s father didn’t specify how much they gave Alves but added that it’s a “different situation” now because the three-judge panel at the Barcelona Provincial Court ruled against Alves.

“With the Spanish court ruling for his conviction, there’s speculation and an attempt to associate my name and my son’s to a matter that is not within our reach any longer,” Neymar’s father said in the family’s statement.

He added that he hopes Alves “can find all the answers he looks for in his own family.”

The prison term is near the lowest sentence for a rape conviction, which when the attack took place was penalized by four to 12 years under Spanish law. The court in its sentence said it considered favorably for Alves that he had “before the trial paid the court €150,000 to be given to the victim without any conditions attached.”

Neymar Jr. and Alves were teammates at Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain and for Brazil. Neymar now plays for Al Hilal in Saudi Arabia.

Alves, who has denied wrongdoing in the case, has remained in custody since being arrested in January 2023.

Alves’ prior requests to be released on bail were denied because the court deemed him a flight risk.

Brazil does not extradite its own citizens when they are sentenced in other countries.

As a bail condition, Alves would be required to hand over his Brazilian and Spanish passports. He is prohibited from leaving Spain. He still has a residence near Barcelona.

Alves won dozens of titles with elite clubs, including Barcelona. He helped Brazil win two Copa Americas and an Olympic gold medal. He played for Barcelona from 2008 to 2016, helping to win three Champions Leagues, and briefly rejoined the club in 2022.

The Brazilian soccer confederation has yet to comment on the Alves case, and the head of its delegation for two friendlies in Europe said Thursday that the topic is being ignored.

Leila Pereira, the chairwoman of Brazilian club Palmeiras, spoke from London, where Brazil will face England on Saturday.

“Nobody says anything, but as a woman here at the head of the delegation, I have to take a stand on the cases of Robinho and Daniel Alves,” she told Brazil’s news website UOL ahead of the match that will mark the debut of new Brazil coach Dorival Júnior.

Former Real Madrid and AC Milan striker Robinho was convicted of rape in Italy but will serve his nine-year sentence in Brazil after a decision of one of the country’s highest courts on Wednesday.

The 40-year-old began his sentence Thursday after he left his apartment building in the beachfront city of Santos, outside Sao Paulo, in a black police car having lost a bid to remain free pending appeals.

“It is a slap in the face for all of us women, especially the case of Daniel Alves, who paid for freedom,” Pereira added. “It is important for me to have my position. Each case of impunity is the seed for the next crime.”

Brazil’s president, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, also criticised the Spanish court’s move to grant bail to Alves. He spoke Wednesday during a celebration of his Workers’ Party.

“It is against these injustices that we cannot be silent about. Money cannot buy dignity,” Lula said during the event in the capital city of Brasilia. “The money that Dani Alves has, the money that someone else might have lent him, it cannot pay for the crime that a man commits against a woman by raping her.”

Weeks before Robinho’s trial at Brazil’s high court, Lula said the former footballer should serve his sentence in Brazil.

Alves and Robinho are a staunch supporters of Lula’s predecessor, former President Jair Bolsonaro.



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