Cristiano Ronaldo to appear in Madrid court on tax charges
The Juventus forward has been asked to attend in person to accept a 19m fine and a two-year suspended jail term for four counts of tax fraud.
Cristiano Ronaldo will appear before a magistrate in Madrid on Tuesday 22 January to accept a two-year suspended prison sentence after pleading guilty to four counts of tax evasion during his time at Real Madrid.
The 33-year-old was accused in June 2017 of defrauding the country's tax authorities of 14.8 million euros from image rights income, between 2011 and 2014. Ronaldo accepted the charges in a deal with the Spanish inland revenue that will see the Portugal captain pay a fine totalling 19 million euros and handed a jail term of 23 months, which will not involve any time behind bars as first-time offenders in Spain sentenced to fewer than two years automatically have that sentence suspended.
Ronaldo's request for video link turned down
Ronaldo paid the bulk of the fine 6 August 2018, when he handed over 13.4 million euros, but has yet to appear in court before the prosecutor, as is stipulated by Spanish law. According to Europa Press, Ronaldo had requested to appear via video conference, but this was denied. He also asked that he be allowed to enter the courthouse via a subterranean garage to avoid the media, which was also turned down.
Ronaldo is the latest on a list of players to settle their tax affairs in the Spanish courts after Marcelo, Radamel Falcao, Ángel Di María, Javier Mascherano and Fabio Coentrao all accepted fines and suspended sentences in recent years.
Barcelona forward Leo Messi was found guilty of tax fraud in 2016 and received a similar jail term to Ronaldo after agreeing to pay a fine for failing to declare some four million euros in tax between 2007 and 2009.