Legal proceedings against Argentina skipper Lionel Messi in regards to an alleged tax fraud issue will get underway on May 31 prosecutors have confirmed.
Both Messi and his father Jorge are accused of failing to declare £3.2m in tax between 2007 and 2009 by allegedly funneling his image rights through companies in Belize and Uruguay.
The judge presiding over the case previously refused to drop the charges against Lionel after lawyers claimed that Jorge was solely responsible for the alleged fraud, ruling:
“There are rational signs that the criminality was committed by both accused parties.”
If the pair are found guilty, they could be handed prison sentences of almost two years, although convictions of this length are normally suspended for first-time offenders in Spain.
Jorge has since paid the owed tax money, which is also likely to reduce any sentence handed out. The trial which resumes three days after the Champions League finals is expected to last until June 3.