Barcelona forward and four time world footballer of the year, Lionel Messi is to face trial for alleged tax evasion, according to the Spanish Judge overlooking the case.
A prosecution recommended that the player be dropped of all charges since his father is responsible for all the finances. However, the judge has denied the prosecution’s recommendation.
Messi and his father Jorge are accused of evading the tax from the authorities of more than 4m euros (£3.1m; $5m).
The pair have denied any accusations and reiterated that they have done nothing wrong. They have five days to appeal against the ruling. It is alleged that they withheld the money between 2007 and 2009.
The income related to Messi’s contracts and image rights with Banco Sabadell, Danone, Adidas, Pepsi-Cola, Procter and Gamble, and the Kuwait Food Company.
The Argentine captain and his father are suspected of avoiding paying Spanish tax by using companies in Belize and Uruguay to sell the rights to use Messi’s image.
The judge ruled: “In this type of crime, it is not necessary for someone to have complete knowledge of all the accounting and business operations nor the exact quantity, rather it is sufficient to be aware of the designs to commit fraud and consent to them.”
There is always a blemish in every successful player’s career and this seems to be the dark spot in such a glistening career like his. I hope, however, this does not affect his performance on the pitch and Messi keeps mesmerizing despite his irregularities off the pitch.