Barcelona and Lionel Messi deny tax evasion – Barcelona and the family of Lionel Messi have slammed reports that named the superstar among those guilty of tax evasion.
A number of world leaders and people from all walks of life have been implicated by the Panama Papers reports, but the Argentine superstar has denied any wrong doing.
“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,” said Messi’s family in a statement.
“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’.”
Barcelona is also standing by their superstar forward, saying in a statement: “Following the claims that place Leo Messi at the creation of a corporate structure with the supposed intention of committing tax fraud, FC Barcelona states that: The club supports the arguments which the Messi family published in a statement today. … The Club makes all of its judicial means, fiscal and administrative, at the family’s disposal in order to make his actions and honour clear in this case.”
The Panama Papers refer to every document generated by Panamanian law firm Mossack, Fonseca & Co., one of the biggest law firms for offshore tax havens. Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, the King of Saudi Arabia, Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad and so many more were implicated by the documents to be using offshore companies for tax avoidance.