Messi to face tax trial

Barcelona forward Lionel Messi is to stand trial after an appeal against a charge of tax fraud was dismissed.

Sport reports that lawyers for Messi and his father, Jorge Messi, had a previous appeal against the charge rejected. A Barcelona provincial court on Wednesday upheld that rejection.

The courts had previously found that Lionel Messi could have been aware of the tax evasion and so should stand trial, despite Jorge Messi claiming full responsibility.

Lionel Messi paid around €5m to the Treasury shortly after the case was opened. The charge relates to the period between 2007 and 2009.

El Pais adds Lionel and Jorge Messi are accused of defrauding the Treasury out of some €4.1m through a complex image rights scheme.

It was claimed the player was not involved in the organisation of the network as he was a minor at the time it was set up, but El Pais reports Messi ratified the arrangement when he turned 18.

Tags Hacienda Lionel Messi