Tax officials looking into 2 football transfers

Tax officials looking into 2 football transfers

Published Aug. 22, 2012 2:21 a.m. ET

Tax officials are looking into the transfers of two Argentine football players as part of a crackdown on suspected money laundering in the Argentine game.

Argentina's tax agency, known by the Spanish-language acronym AFIP, said Tuesday it is investigating the transfers of Jonathan Bottinelli of Buenos Aires club River Plate, and Ignacio Piatti of San Lorenzo, also a high-profile Buenos Aires club.

The Argentine Football Association said both players would not be allowed to play during the investigation.

Bottinelli played last season for San Lorenzo, but AFIP said records show River Plate buying his rights from Chilean club Union San Felipe. Bottinelli has never played in Chile.


Piatti played last season for Italian club Lecce, but San Lorenzo shows him moving from Uruguay club Sud America.

''It is suspected that a maneuver has been carried out that would permit hiding the true values of the transactions,'' the tax agency said in a statement.

Football clubs in Argentina heve been required since early this year to provide detailed reports of any transfers in an effort to prevent money laundering.

Many Argentine clubs are deeply in debt despite the vast sums of money that flow through the country's football industry, which exports thousands of players to clubs abroad.