Lionel Messi gets 21-month sentence for tax evasion

Lionel Messi has been given a 21-month jail sentence for tax evasion.

Messi and his father, Jorge, received the same sentence but under Spanish law a jail sentence under two years for a first-time non-violent crime can be served on probation, meaning they are unlikely to be imprisoned.

A Barcelona court found both men guilty of three counts of tax fraud. The sentence can be appealed through the Spanish supreme court, a statement said.

The court ordered Messi to pay a fine of around £1.7m and his father to pay £1.27m.

The case concluded on June 3, when prosecutors contended that Messi’s father was the main person responsible for defrauding Spain’s tax authority of £3.19m from 2007-09.

However, the legal representative for the tax office said the Barcelona forward knew enough to also be held accountable.