Barcelona’s Javier Mascherano has been given a year’s jail time for two tax offences but is likely to pay a significant fine instead.
Sport reports the Argentine’s sentence includes 12 months in prison and a €815,000 fine and has already paid back money owed to the Treasury.
Masche admitted avoiding tax in 2011 and 2012 and paid back €1.7m of tax on image rights for the two years, writing in a Twitter post that he relied on tax experts to guide his affairs and, when he discovered there was a problem, tried to correct it immediately.
One of his lawyers in the case, David Aineto, has asked that Mascherano’s jail time be removed and replaced with a fine of a little over €21,000.
Sport adds that the prosecution are expected to agree and a new ruling from the judge should come in a few days.
Masche’s has said he reserves the right to take action against his original tax advisors.
“I’m a professional athlete. I have no great knowledge of tax and legal issues,” he admitted.
“Therefore I rely on people who handle issues that, for me, are technical and complex. Throughout my career I’ve been honest and responsible, respecting my colleagues, the clubs I represented and the countries in which I lived.
“My new advisors recommended I pay the taxes demanded by the Treasury, presenting what are called corrections on all fiscal years.”