Barcelona superstar, Lionel Messi has lost his appeal to Spain’s Supreme court for tax fraud allegations against him. Messi and his father were both trialed for embezzlement, as they were accused of tax fraud between 2007 and 2009.
The footballer was found guilty by a Barcelona court last July, and was sentenced to a 21-month prison sentence in addition to a fine of 2 million euros. Messi’s father, Jorge was also given an identical sentence, but with a fine of 1.5 million euros.
As per Spanish law, any sentence below two years can be served as probation. This means that Lionel Messi is unlikely to face any jail time for his actions.
Several tax officers testified against Messi and his father, as they claimed that Jorge had used companies in Switzerland, Uruguay and Belize to reduce tax on the player’s earnings from his image rights.
This is what Messi had to say during his trial.
‘I was dedicated to playing soccer,’ Messi said.
‘I trusted my father and the lawyers that we had chosen to deal with our affairs.
‘At no time did I think that they could deceive me.’
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Barcelona FC also issued a statement in which they said that they will give their full support to Messi and his father.
This news comes on the back of a frustrating season for the Argentine, as his team failed to win both the League championship and the Champions League. While Messi finished as the top scorer in La Liga with 37 goals, he could not inspire his team to any domestic success this time around.