Lionel Messi set to miss Copa America Centenario over tax allegations

Barcelona and Argentina superstar Lionel Messi could miss part of the Copa America Centenario after lawyers in his tax fraud trial requested to have the date moved from May 31 to June 7. The change of date could result in Messi missing part of the Copa America Centenario, which runs from June 3-26 in the USA. Argentina are set to
begin their campaign against Chile on June 6.

Both Messi and his father, Jorge Messi, have been accused of defrauding Spain’s tax office of €4.1 million in taxes from 2007 to 2009. The pair have been charged with three counts of tax fraud and could potentially face up to two years in jail if found guilty.

The Messi family have so far denied all allegations of any wrongdoing, which was alleged by a group of investigative journalists who are looking into offshore money laundering and tax evasion.

Barcelona have since come out in support of Messi and his family, with the family publicly backed by club president Josep Maria Bartomeu on Tuesday.

While Lionel Messi himself is unlikely to face any time behind bars, the trial could hinder his ability to play in the Copa America Centenario, which is being held to celebrate the centenary of the South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL) and the Copa America. The tournament is the first Copa America to be played outside of South America and will feature all ten teams from CONMEBOL and six teams from CONCACAF.


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