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AFP
June 6, 2020

Neymar mistakenly approved for virus welfare payment

Sports

AFP
June 6, 2020

RIO DE JANEIRO: Neymar, the world’s most expensive footballer, was approved to receive a $120 welfare payment meant for low-paid Brazilian workers affected by the coronavirus pandemic, in an apparent case of identity theft, a report said Thursday.

The Paris Saint-Germain star’s name, date of birth and Brazilian ID number were used to register for the 600-real stimulus payment from the federal government, news site UOL reported. The emergency payments are meant to help Brazilians employed in the informal sector -- such as cleaners or cooks -- whose jobs and incomes have evaporated with stay-at-home measures to contain the virus.

With a contract at PSG, estimated earnings of $95.5 million this year and the record for most expensive football transfer in history, at 222 million euros, Neymar does not qualify. Yet according to UOL, the application in his name “was initially approved and scheduled for payment... before being frozen and placed ‘under evaluation’ due to indications it failed to meet the requirements.”