[EYES AND VOICE] In football news, Argentina and Barcelona football star Lionel Messi has been sentenced to 21 months in prison and fined £1.7m over a tax fraud case, Eyes And Voice learned.
However, the number one footballer in the world – according to Ballon D’or – will not spend any time in jail because in Spain, a jail term under two years for a non-violent offence usually results in a period of probation under Spanish law.
Also, Lionel Messi’s father, Jorge Messi was also handed a 21-month prison term and fine of €1.5m (£1.28m), Eyes And Voice has learned.
The court in Barcelona found the FC Barcelona striker and his father, who handles his financial affairs, guilty of three offences.
The Messi family was sentenced for using tax havens in Uruguay and Belize to hide more than £3m in image rights earnings from Spanish tax authorities.
Lionel Messi, 29, said on his trial he knew nothing of how his money was managed and admitted signing documents without reading them.
He told the court last month:
The truth is no, the truth is no, I didn’t know.
As my dad explained earlier I just dedicated myself to playing football, I put my trust in my father, in the lawyers who had decided to manage this thing.
Lionel Messi, who earns £26m in annual salary under his current club contract alone and the footballer is worth at least £240 million.
Father and son were told they had the right to appeal.