Lionel Messi’s family have denied the Barcelona star’s latest tax-fraud allegations and threatened legal action against the media outlets in question.
Reports in the Spanish Press alleged on Monday that Messi was part of a global tax-avoidance scheme known as ‘the papers of Panama’, but the Argentine’s camp have since released a statement in his defence, branding the accusations “false and slanderous”.
“In light of the reports issued by various media outlets, who have attributed Lionel Messi to creating a corporate structure, aimed at ‘launching a new network of tax fraud’, the Messi family wishes to make it clear that Lionel Messi has not carried out any of the false or slanderous acts alleged against him,” it reads.
“The Panamanian company referred to in such reports is a completely inactive company, which never had funds or any open current accounts and derived from the old corporate structure implemented by the previous tax advisers of the Messi family.
“The reports have also linked such claims with totally-unrelated facts, as in the case of so-called ‘charity matches’.
“In short, the information is based on mere conjecture and partial and biased documentation and promoted by Messi’s surname and the player’s reputation.
“This is especially serious when it comes to attributing criminal acts such as tax evasion and money laundering, both of which can bring irreparable harm to Lionel Messi.
“Due to the above, the Messi family has instructed his current lawyers of the firm Cuatrecasas to study the possible filing of legal action against the media outlets who have spread this news.”