PARIS (AP) — Neymar is expected to make his long-awaited debut with Paris Saint-Germain on Sunday in the small Brittany town of Guingamp after French football authorities finally received the Brazil star’s international transfer certificate (ITC).
The French football federation said on Friday it had received the document from its Spanish counterpart, more than a week after PSG signed the Brazilian from Barcelona.
The French football league then told The Associated Press that the ITC had been submitted by the federation and that Neymar’s transfer would be ratified later Friday, clearing the way for him to play at Guingamp on Sunday night.
The hold-up prevented Neymar from making his PSG debut last Saturday against Amiens after completing his world-record 222 million euro ($262 million) transfer.
PSG wanted Neymar to start the season at the Parc des Princes but his debut was delayed because of the paperwork issues. Neymar was unveiled to the PSG fans on Saturday but could only watch from the stands as his new team started its league campaign with a 2-0 win.
Barcelona said there was nothing strange about the situation and that the wait was due to the banks. A few hours before the French federation confirmed it had received the ITC, several Spanish media reported on Friday that the 222 million euros had finally been made available in the club’s accounts.
There has been speculation in France that Barcelona slowed down the whole process as a retaliation measure against PSG after the French league club lured one of its three biggest stars out of the Camp Nou.
Asked about his views on the issue after the Amiens game, PSG coach Unai Emery said he was not sure “Spain did everything” to ensure Neymar would be cleared to play for PSG in time.
Emery has yet to announce his squad for the trip to Guingamp but it is very unlikely Neymar will not be included. PSG made clear he would have played against Amiens if not for the paperwork issues. After partying with friends in southern France, Neymar has returned to training with his teammates this week.
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