Barcelona, July 6: Argentine superstar footballer Lionel Messi was today (July 6) handed a 21-month prison sentence for 3 tax frauds, according to reports in the Spanish media.
Messi's father Jorge Horacio Messi was also handed the same sentence for 3 tax crimes, Reuters news agency tweeted on Wednesday evening. The duo was also fined.
"However, under Spanish law a prison sentence under two years can be served under probation, meaning Messi and his father are unlikely to go to jail.
"The court ordered Messi to pay a fine of around 2 million euros ($2.21 million) and his father to pay 1.5 million euros for the crimes," Reuters reported.
"Spanish court says sentences for Messi, father can be appealed through the supreme court," the news agency added in another tweet.
"Argentina and Barcelona footballer Lionel Messi sentenced to 21 months in prison for tax fraud, Spanish media say," BBC reported.
Recently, 29-year-old Messi retired from international football after missing a penalty in the Copa America final against Chile. He will continue to play for his club side Barcelona.
In May, Messi had testified in the tax fraud case. They had evaded 4.1 million euros in taxes in Spain. "I never look at the money side. That's something my dad deals with and I trust in him," Messi had told the judge who was investigating the case, in May, according to a report in "The Telegraph".
Barcelona soccer star Messi and father condemned to 21 months in prison on tax charges - newspaper La Vanguardia— Reuters India (@ReutersIndia) July 6, 2016
BREAKING: Spanish court hands out 21-month prison sentence to Barcelona soccer star Lionel Messi for 3 tax crimes pic.twitter.com/8vEVqhX9k1— Reuters India (@ReutersIndia) July 6, 2016
Spanish court confirms also hands out 21 month prison sentence to Messi's father for 3 tax crimes— Reuters India (@ReutersIndia) July 6, 2016
Spanish court says sentences for Messi, father can be appealed through the supreme court— Reuters India (@ReutersIndia) July 6, 2016