Argentina attempt to stop transfer tax evasion

Authorities in the South American country have banned over 100 agents and suspended dozens of players after transfers were suspected of breaking tax laws

The Argentine government have suspended 146 agents and temporarily banned dozen of players following investigations into alleged tax evasion in football transfers.

The country's tax authority - AFIP - has been looking into 'irregular deals' since the transfer window closed last week, with team's including River Plate caught up in the dealings.

"[The AFIP] have suspended 146 football representatives and go-betweens with an irregular fiscal situation," AFIP chief Ricardo Echegaray told a press conference.

“They have not declared the corresponding commission for the operations they took part in. This is an investigation into the businessmen of football.”

He also added that if the club's allowed transfers to continue through suspect deals, and did not announce them to the AFIP, then the clubs would be permitting tax evasion and money laundering offences.

Jonathan Bottinelli's move to River Plate is perhaps the most high-profile of these suspected transfers.

The defender joined the newly-promoted side from San Lorenzo in the summer, but the move also involved Chilean club Union San Felipe – a club the 27-year-old has never played for.

In a report on the AFIP's website, they discovered that the transfer was for $1.7 million, and the money had been deposited into an account in Miami.

An investigation into an alleged account Union San Felipe have in the Virgin Islands has also been launched.

Ignacio Piatti's switch to San Lorenzo is another move being investigated.

The midfielder joined the Argentine club from Lecce in Serie A, via Uruguayan side Sud America - again, a team he had never played for.

Botinelli and Piatti will both be banned for this weekend's fixtures as the investigation continues. Meanwhile, AFA president Julio Grondonda has praised the move from the AFIP: “We always wanted clarity.”