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Messi sentenced to 21 months in jail

Barcelona forward Lionel Messi has been sentenced to 21 months in prison for tax evasion.

Under Spanish law any sentence under two years can be suspended meaning the Barcelona and Argentina footballer is expected to avoid serving time in prison.

The 29-year-old, among the world’s highest-earning athletes, was accused of creating a string of fake companies in Belize and Uruguay to avoid taxation on €4.16m (£3.2m) of image rights earnings between 2007 and 2009.

The Argentinian’s father Jorge Horacio Messi has also been handed the same punishment. The pair, who also face huge fines, can appeal their sentences through the Supreme Court.

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