French fraud squad detectives are
investigating how television channel Canal Plus put 15 million euros
into the Swiss bank account of Brazil star Ronaldinho.
Ronaldinho, sold to Spanish side Barcelona for 30 million euros two
years ago, was paid the money after joining Paris St Germain, owned by
Canal Plus, in 1999.
Police sources said Wednesday the money was paid through a Canal Plus
marketing subsidiary for the player's image rights.
Police again interviewed agents in France on Wednesday as part of
investigations into transfers involving Paris St Germain and Olympique
They are investigating allegations of tax evasion through transfers of
money between France, Monaco and Switzerland.
The offices of the French football federation, the league and five major
clubs were raided last month amid allegations of irregularities
involving advertising and television rights deals.
Lens, Girondins de Bordeaux and champions Olympique Lyon were the other
clubs being investigated.
The five clubs were members of the now-disbanded Club Europe, launched
by television channel Canal Plus in 2001.
It paid 250 million Euros to the five clubs to obtain their broadcasting
But the payments stopped and Club Europe was dismantled after protests
by Canal Plus shareholders.