Barcelona and Argentina football star, Lionel Messi, who is currently on trial for alleged tax fraud in Spain, has told a court that he is not directly involved in the management of his financial affairs. “I only play football, and I know nothing,” he told the court. According to BBC.
Lionel Messi and his father Jorge who is also his agent, have been are accused of defrauding Spain of €4.1m (£3.2m; $4.6m). The authorities allege that the Messi and his father used tax havens in Belize and Uruguay to conceal earnings from image rights deals which the Barcelona star did.
The 28-year old Barcelona forward, told the court in Spain that he signed documents without reading them, because the document came from his father, whom he trusts as his financial adviser and IS also responsible for managing his finances. “I only worry about playing football,” he told the judge.
The Barcelona star appeared in court wearing a dark suit and tie, and sat alongside his father in front of the judge and listened to other testimony for nearly four hours before being called to testify in the third day of the trial.
Messi Spoke for less than 15 minutes, and told the court that he never suspected any wrongdoing whenever his father asked him to sign contracts or documents. His father Jorge Messi also denied the charges.
Spain’s tax agency is pressing serious charges on the Barcelona forward, demanding heavy fines and prison sentences on him and his father Jorge Messi.
The trial which began on Tuesday and Thursday will have a final verdict next week.
Because of the on going court case, Messi has missed part of his national team’s preparations for the Copa America, which starts on Friday in the US. Although Argentina’s first game is on Monday.