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Messi Puts Tax Blame On Father & Lawyers



FC Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi gave testimony in his tax fraud case in court on Thursday. Here is what he said in order to try to prevent being handed a 22-month prison sentence.

The Argentine and his father, Jorge Messi, are accused of tax evasion worth €4.1 million (R72 million) between 2007 and 2009.

The offence could reportedly result in a 22-month jail term for both, although, in Spain, this is often suspended for first offences with a sentence of less than two years.

Messi, who was reportedly insulted by a few fans as he arrived at the court, tried to shift the responsibility on to his father and lawyers.

"I never asked my dad about these things. The truth is that as my dad explained before, I trusted him and the lawyers. I didn't know anything about it, I just played football," he responded when asked about companies set up to handle his image rights, as quoted by AS.

"I didn't know I was a member and manager of this company, I signed it because he (my father) said so and I trusted him and the lawyers. All I knew was that I was signing a deal with sponsors to do adverts, photo shoots and things like that.

"I remember we went to a notary, but I was 18 when I signed it and, as you can imagine, I was in a different world. I don't remember anything about it."

Meanwhile, Messi's father has repeatedly maintained that his son "knew nothing" of the tax irregularities.
Sphamandla Ntshokotsha

Sphamandla Ntshokotsha

Staff writter

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