Football superstar Lionel Messi and his father can avoid prison for tax fraud by paying an extra fine, a Spanish court has ruled.
Instead of serving his 21-month sentence, the Barcelona and Argentina forward will be fined an extra €252,000.
The Barcelona-based court also ruled that Messi’s father, Jorge Horacio Messi, will be fined an extra €180,000 instead of serving his 15-month sentence.
The ruling was widely expected in Spain, where prison sentences under 24 months for first-time offenders can be waived by a judge.
Last year, a court found Messi and his father each guilty of three counts of defrauding tax authorities of €4.1 million from 2007-09.
The unpaid taxes were from money made through endorsement deals, not Messi’s salary paid by Barcelona.
In that ruling Messi was also fined €2 million and his father €1.5 million.
Both were originally sentenced to 21 months, but his father’s sentence was later reduced to 15 months.
- Press Association