Barcelona star and Ballon d’Or winner Lionel Messi is facing court charges and it looks like the date for his trial has finally been decided.
Lionel Messi’s father, Jorge Messi, had allegedly set up a number of shell companies abroad to avoid reporting the Argentine’s earnings to Spanish authorities. Authorities pressed charges against the pair for the scheme, that started when the player was still a minor.
Though Messi filed an appeal and his father claimed full responsibility, his appeal was overturned and the Barcelona player will be involved in the criminal proceedings. They will take place between the Champions League Final and the start of the Copa America.
According to a report by FourFourTwo, “The Barcelona star and his father have been charged with three counts of tax fraud worth €4.1 million dating back to a period of time between 2007 and 2009 and has had his trial date confirmed as being between May 31 and June 3.
Messi had been set to avoid a trial on the grounds that Jorge Messi was apparently responsible for his son’s tax obligations. However, the state attorney later opted to overrule the advice of prosecutors and ordered both to appear in the Eighth Court of Barcelona.”
Case could effect Messi’s game
The trial begins three days after the UEFA Champions League final in Milan. Though Barcelona are not sure of getting through to the finals, they are considered strong favorites and it could prove to be a worry for the Catalan team if their star player has legal issues on his mind ahead of arguably the most important club game of the year.
After the trial, the Copa America Centenario looms large for the Argentine forward. Even if he himself is acquitted, his father could face serious punishment and this could prove to be very emotionally unsettling. It remains to be seen how the trial will effect Messi on the football pitch.