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Juventus, West Ham Get Players as Uruguay’s ‘Ghost’ Deals Mount

Juventus, AS Roma and Porto agreed to pay a combined 11.1 million euros ($14.6 million) to hire players from Club Deportivo Maldonado, a Uruguayan soccer team for which they never appeared, according to stock-market filings. England’s West Ham took a striker on loan.

South American teams and investors in the players’ transfer rights move the athletes’ registrations through Uruguayan clubs to reduce tax on the trades to as little as 5 percent from 20 percent, said Rodrigo Garcia, a lawyer at Laffer Abogados in Madrid who has advised teams on such deals. Argentina’s tax authority said last month that the arrangements were irregular, and Brazil’s sports minister Aldo Rebelo said soccer ruling body FIFA should outlaw the “ghost” club deals.