Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi, and his father, Jorge Horacio Messi, have been found guilty of three counts of tax fraud by a Barcelona court, and have therefore been sentenced to 21 months in prison.
However, under the Spanish law, a tax prison sentence of under two years can be served under probation, meaning Messi and his father will mostly likely not go to jail.
The Argentine forward will, however, have to pay a fine of around €2 million ($2.2 million), whereas his father will need to pay €1.5 million.
FC Barcelona issued a statement in support of their #10, which read: “FC Barcelona gives all its support to Leo Messi and his father with relation to the sentence for tax evasion handed out by the Provincial Court in Barcelona today.
“The Club, in agreement with the Government prosecution service, considers that the player, who has corrected his position with the Spanish Tax Office, is in no way criminally responsible with regards to the facts underlined in this case.
“FC Barcelona continues to be at the disposal of Leo Messi and his family to support him in whatever action he decides to take in defence of his honesty and his legal interests.”