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Lionel Messi handed jail term

06 July 2016

The world's top footballer Lionel Messi has been found guilty of tax evasion in a Spanish court today.

Along with his father he was given a jail term for defrauding the government over image rights payments.

Both now face millions of euros in fines for using tax havens in Belize and Uruguay to conceal earnings.

Messi has been sentenced to 21 months in prison, but under the Spanish system prison terms under two years can be served under probation. So he is expected not to serve any time behind bars.

This news comes just a day after the European Commission found many of Spain's top clubs guilty of receiving illegal state aid.

Real Madrid has been ordered to pay back over 20m, because of irregular land deals and preferential tax rates.

Barcelona, Valencia, Elche, Athletic Bilbao and Osasuna also have money to pay back.

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