Messi tax fraud ruling: player and father to appeal

The Barcelona footballer and his father, Jorge, were handed 21-month jail terms on Wednesday after being found of guilty of tax evasion.

Messi tax fraud ruling: player and father to appeal

Barcelona star Lionel Messi and his father, Jorge, are to challenge a Spanish court ruling sentencing them to 21 months in prison for tax evasion.

They were found guilty of defrauding the Spanish tax authorities of 4.1 million euros on income earned through image rights between 2007 and 2009.

Not likely to serve prison sentences

The pair are not expected to spend any time behind bars as the jail terms they have received are under two years and neither has a criminal record.

They were also handed a fine of 3.7 million euros.

Messi leaves court with his father (second left) on Wednesday.

"The sentence is not correct"

In a statement issued in the wake of the decision, it was confirmed that both would submit an appeal to Spain's Supreme Court.

"The sentence is not correct," Messi's lawyers declared in the communiqué. "We are confident the appeal will show the defence was right."

Barça also released a statement offering their 'full support' to the player and his father.