Taxman aims at Argentine soccer player transfers

MICHAEL WARREN Associated Press Published:

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) -- Argentina's tax chief is imposing new rules aimed at reducing tax evasion in soccer, the sacred national pastime.

Ricardo Echegaray is making soccer clubs responsible for putting all the profits from player transfers in special bank accounts. Player contracts must be reported along with these profits, and the investors and agents involved must be registered as representing the player. If the numbers don't match, the tax agency will block those responsible from Argentina's financial system.

He says the rules take effect Friday upon publication in Argentina's government bulletin. Argentina is the world's top exporter of soccer players, generating hundreds of millions of dollars in profits. But Echegaray says the players themselves are often cheated by shadowy businessmen hiding their cash.