Messi and his father have been charged – Messi will testify next week The striker could miss Copa America opener Barcelona star Lionel Messi will appear in court on June 2 over tax fraud allegations. Lionel Messi and his father Jorge, have been charged with three counts of tax fraud up to €4.1million. According to EFE, the Spanish agency, Messi will testify next week.
Messi reportedly tried to avoid trial, on the grounds that his father handled his tax payments. However, a state attorney ordered both of them to appear. Argentina national football team will have their captain in court, three days before Copa America match against Chile on June 6.
Lionel Messi Gerardo Martino, the manager of the national team, said: “I think we should have no problem with his presence at the Copa America Centenario. If he suspected that there might be a problem, we would’ve said.” It would be recalled that Neymar, 23, is also accused of tax evasion between 2011 and 2013 and faces legal proceedings. He was accused of setting up companies in his name to avoid paying taxes for his wealth. Prosecutors accuse Neymar of setting up companies as fronts in order to pay a lower rate of tax. They demand he pay 63.6 million reias ($16m; £11m) in allegedly undeclared taxes. The court ordered his assets be frozen to ensure the payment plus any possible fines, it said. An auditor with the federal tax agency told the Associated Press news agency that Neymar could still appeal the decision and that he was unlikely to face jail.