- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 3, 2017

La Liga, the top division of Spanish soccer, refused to accept payment of Neymar’s €222 million ($262 million) buyout clause from French club Paris Saint-Germain Thursday, delaying the Brazilian winger’s transfer from FC Barcelona.

“We can confirm that the legal representatives of the player [Neymar] came to La Liga to deposit the clause and that it has been rejected,” a La Liga spokesperson told ESPN FC. “This is all the information we can give at the moment.”

While La Liga doesn’t appear to have any legal grounds to reject PSG’s payment, the move is not without precedent. 

Earlier this week, La Liga president Javier Tebas said he would not accept the money if PSG attempted to trigger Neymar’s nine-figure buyout clause. Tebos went on to say he was prepared to file a complaint against the French side to governing body UEFA and the European Union for what he perceived as breaches of financial fair play.

However, according to a UEFA statement released by BBC, the governing body has “not received complaints from anyone regarding this matter.”

The governing body of French soccer, LFP, released a statement Thursday criticizing La Liga for holding up Neymar’s transfer to PSG.

“The LFP is surprised and does not understand the refusal of the Liga to simply accept the payment of the release clause of the player Neymar,” the statement read. “The LFP asks the Liga to abide by the FIFA rules and its responsibilities … The legal services of the LFP are in support and at the disposal of Paris Saint-Germain so that the Neymar contract is approved as soon as possible.”

Once accepted, Neymar’s transfer fee would instantly shatter the all-time record, set last summer when Manchester United paid €105 million to Italian club Juventus for midfielder Paul Pogba.

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