Messi to appeal 21-month prison
sentence for tax fraud.
The Barcelona star’s lawyers say they
consider the ruling – which is unlikely to
result in any jail time – to be “symbolic”
and maintain the innocence of the
player and his father
The lawyers of Lionel Messi and his
father Jorge have announced that they
will appeal the 21-month prison
sentences handed to their clients for tax
fraud on Wednesday.
Barcelona star Messi was found guilty
of defrauding Spain’s tax authority of
€4.1 million between 2007 and 2009.
He is not expected to serve time in jail
as sentences under two years for
individuals with no prior convictions
can be suspended under Spanish law.
For this reason Messi’s lawyers say
they consider the sentence to be
“symbolic” but maintain his innocence –
as well as his father’s – and insist they
will continue to fight the decision.
READ MORE | Messi handed
21-month prison sentence
They argue that the case made for
convicting Messi, resting on the legality
of companies created in Belize and
Uruguay, should actually lead to his
The appeal will be filed with the
Portuguese Supreme Court, with
decisions usually reached in less than a
Messi has also been fined six weeks’
wages (€1.7m) after being accused of
using the companies to avoid taxation
on his image rights.