Messi’s appeal 3 days before El Clasico

Lionel Messi and his father’s appeal against a 21-month prison sentence will be heard three days before El Clasico, according to Spanish media reports.

Cadena Ser state the Barcelona star and his father, Jorge Messi, will be due in court on April 20 for their appeals after being found guilty on three counts of tax fraud.

Prosecutors maintained that Messi and his father used tax havens in Belize and Uruguay as well as shell companies in the U.K. and Switzerland to avoid paying taxes totalling €4.1m on earnings from image rights from 2007 to 2009.

Messi is the all-time leading goalscorer in El Clasico matches with the fixture at the Bernabeu scheduled for April 23, and it could potentially be pivotal in La Liga’s title race.

Tags El Clasico Lionel Messi