Qatar Plays Politics With €222M Neymar Transfer to PSG

Published August 3rd, 2017 - 01:30 GMT
In this photo Neymar poses with the CEO of Qatar Airways Akbar Al-Baker. (AFP)
In this photo Neymar poses with the CEO of Qatar Airways Akbar Al-Baker. (AFP)

Neymar’s world record €222 million (Dh965 million) transfer from Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain could be completed by the end of the week (or not), the player’s adviser Wagner Ribeiro said yesterday.

Ribeiro told reporters at Barcelona’s El Prat airport that Qatar-owned PSG would pay Neymar’s buyout clause “in the coming hours” and that the 25-year-old could be presented in Paris “this weekend.”

Barcelona confirmed Neymar’s wish to leave and said his buyout clause must be paid in full.

According to the Daily Telegraph’s Paul Hayward, Neymar’s transfer is less about football and more about politics.

Breaking up Barca’s magical 'MSN' front-line (Messi, Suarez, Neymar) would complete the most political transfer in football history. This is the geo-political backdrop to Qatar’s desperate quest for long-term relevance, Hayward says.

On June 5, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt severed diplomatic ties with Qatar for supporting and funding of terrorist organisations. The four countries have also placed on lists of terrorism dozens of people and groups associated with Qatar.

The US said yesterday it would be sending a diplomat and a retired general to the region in a new attempt to help defuse the crisis.

Tim Lenderking, deputy assistant secretary for Arabian Gulf Affairs in the Near East Bureau, and Retired General Anthony Charles Zinni are expected to arrive in the Gulf next week.

Mediation efforts, led by Kuwaiti Emir Shaikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah, so far, have not succeeded in overcoming the gap between the two sides.


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