PARIS (AP) — The Latest on Brazil soccer star Neymar’s move from Barcelona to PSG (all times local):
French government spokesman Christophe Castaner says Neymar’s transfer to Paris Saint-Germain is also serving Qatar’s interests.
Speaking on LCI television, Castaner says, “we see very well that Qatar is involved in a communications operation, we see how Qatar wants to be a player, via sporting events, sporting presence, to be seen on the diplomatic stage.”
PSG is owned by Qatar Sports Investments, a company linked to Qatar’s ruling family.
Asked whether France would make any concessions in exchange for the “gift” of Neymar’s arrival, Castaner insisted “there was no negotiated compensation” and insisted France wouldn’t let the Neymar deal smooth over the Gulf diplomatic crisis and questions about Qatar’s relationship with extremists.
Asked if France should be worried about Qatar trying to make diplomatic gains out of the deal, he said: “We don’t need to be suspicious of one country or another. But we have the right to ask questions. … France favors pursuing dialogue because today there are extremely high tensions (between Qatar and its neighbors) and it’s not healthy for them to continue.”
“There are specific questions that have been asked of Qatar, notably about the financing of terrorism. It’s essential that Qatar shows total transparency on these subjects.”
Despite paying 222 million ($262 million) euros for Neymar, PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi is convinced he has sealed a…
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