Lionel Messi’s trial for tax fraud will begin just three days after the Champions League final on May 31.
The Ballon d’Or winner and his father, Jorge, have been accused of defrauding Spain’s tax office of over £3 million between 2007 and 2009 and will be required to spend four days in court.
Jorge is at the centre of the case and faces a possible 18 month prison sentence while it’s claimed that Messi knew all about his father’s crimes, meaning he too had to be involved in the case.
BECOME A WRITER
Do you have what it takes? Sign up today and send over your 250 word test article: http://gms.to/haveyoursay3
According to the Daily Mail, the attorney office has requested that Messi and his father spend a total of 22 months and 15 days in prison coupled with a fine totalling the amount that they defrauded, payment for all of the legal proceedings and the loss of any tax benefits over 18 months.
This year’s Champions League final will be held on May 28 in Milan and the looming court trial just three days afterwards could easily affect the Argentine on the pitch.
While Messi will be available to play if Barcelona reach the Champions League final, there’s some doubt over his Copa America attendance.
The centenary edition of the tournament will kick-off on June 3 in the United States - the date that Messi’s trial is expected to finish. The schedule for Copa America isn’t known until later next month but it’s likely that Argentina will be missing their captain for their opening fixture, at least.