Barcelona Describe Messi Verdict as a ‘Personal Attack’ as Court Throws out Neymar Case
Spanish giants Barcelona have vowed to support Lionel Messi following his decision to appeal against the 21-month jail sentence slammed on him by a Spanish court after being found guilty of tax fraud earlier in the week.
Messi, 29, and his father Jorge were both given the same prison sentences for the offence, with the Argentine handed a further €2million fine for three counts of tax fraud and his dad penalised €1.7m.
Though neither Messi nor his father is likely to spend any time in prison as Spanish law allows for any sentence of less than two years – for non-violent offences – to be served under probation, they have nonetheless opted to appeal the decision at the Spanish Supreme court, and Barcelona have offered their full support to the player, Goal reports.
“We understand that Messi is not guilty in any way and has no penal responsibilities,” Barcelona spokesman Josep Vives said at a news conference.
“We shall be at his side no matter what it takes. Messi has announced that he’ll be appealing and the club will be absolutely and unconditionally at his side when he does that.
“We see this as an attack on his person.”
Meanwhile, the Catalans got some positive news as the Spanish High Court finally threw out the case of alleged fraud in the transfer of Brazilian Neymar from Santos in 2013.
Following the ruling, Vives said it was “a chapter that has caused a lot of headaches … but everything is now over.”
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