Barcelona stand by Lionel Messi after appeal against tax fraud sentence is rejec

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi

Barcelona: Lionel Messi retains the full support of his club Barcelona after his appeal against a 21-month prison sentence for tax fraud was rejected by the Spanish supreme court on Wednesday.

In July 2016 the 29-year-old Argentinian and his father Jorge were found guilty on three counts of defrauding the tax department to the tune of 4.1 million euros (£3.5million). The pair took their appeals to the supreme court but the striker's sentence has been confirmed and he must also pay a 2.1 million euro (£1.8m) fine.

However, Jorge Messi's sentence has been reduced to 15 months as his attempts to "repair the damage" by returning the defrauded money to tax authorities were taken into consideration.

Neither man is likely serve any time in prison as, under Spanish law, sentences under two years are usually suspended.

Barcelona released a statement on their official website which read: "The club reiterates, once again, its full support for Leo Messi, his father Jorge Messi, and his family."

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