Spain Supreme Court confirms Messi fraud sentence

Lionel Messi's appeal against his 21-month prison sentence was scheduled just says before he helped Barcelona beat Real Madrid in El Clasico in April

- A 21-month jail term handed down past year to Barcelona and Argentina footballer Lionel Messi has been confirmed by Spain's Supreme Court, but he is unlikely to go to prison, BBC News reports.

Messi was found guilty by a Catalan court last July on three counts of tax fraud between 2007 and 2009.

According to the BBC, the case will now return to the court in Barcelona that handed down the original judgement.

Spain's highest court also upheld the conviction of Messi's father, although it reduced his prison term from 21 to 15 months, reports Efe.

But the Supreme Court said Wednesday that he would have known about his obligation to pay taxes. However, his father who was previously directed to pay £1.3 million as fine has now been asked to only pay £1.3 million.

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In a June 2016 court appearance, Messi claimed he had no idea what he was signing or how his money was being managed.

It's worth noting that Messi and his father were charged with using tax havens in Uruguay and Belize and shell companies in the United Kingdom and Switzerland to avoid paying taxes. Messi denied any wrongdoing and said he only "worried about playing football".

"I trusted my father and the lawyers that we had chosen to deal with our affairs".

However since both men have no prior criminal history and the sentence is below 2 years, they will spend no time behind bars.

And he also told Messi that he will do his utmost to end the La Liga champions' hopes of becoming the first club to retain the trophy in its modern format.

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