Messi to appeal against 21-month prison term for tax fraud

| Updated: Aug 23, 2017 11:20 IST

Madrid, July 7 (ANI): Barcelona star striker Lionel Messi and his father Jorge Messi will appeal against a Spanish court verdict to sentence each of them to 21 months in jail for tax fraud. Confirming the news, the lawyers of Messi and his father said that their clients would continue to fight for their innocence. The appeal against the judgment would be filed with the Portuguese Supreme Court, reported. On Wednesday, the court in Barcelona ruled that the 29-year-old footballer and his father were charged with three counts of tax fraud, which amounted to 4.1 million euros. Besides the prison sentence, the court had also ordered the Barcelona talisman and his father to pay a fine of around 2 million euros and 1.5 million euros respectively. However, the pair are unlikely to serve any time behind bars as, according to Spanish law, a sentence under two years can be served on probation and also since this was Messi's first offence. The Argentina footballer was found guilty of using tax havens in Belize and Uruguay as well as shell companies in the U.K. and Switzerland to avoid paying 4.1 million euros on earnings from image rights from 2007 to 2009.(ANI)