Judge refuses to dismiss tax evasion charges against Lionel Messi, who could now face trial

Brooks Peck
Dirty Tackle

The tax evasion case against Lionel Messi and his father will drag on as a Spanish court has decided to proceed with the case despite the prosecution recommending that the case against Messi should be dropped. The prosecutor argued that Messi did not have knowledge of the alleged fraud and that his father was solely responsible, but the judge remains unconvinced.

From Reuters:

[T]he court in Barcelona has decided that Lionel Messi could have known about and approved the creation of a web of shell companies that were allegedly used to evade taxes due on income from image rights.

The judge in the case ruled that the case against both Messis should continue, according to a statement published on Monday.

Messi and his father were accused last year of defrauding the Spanish state of more than 4 million euros ($5.4 million) by filing false returns for the years 2006 to 2009. They have denied wrongdoing.

According to Marca, the judge "gave public prosecutors 10 days to request the opening of oral proceedings or the dismissal of the trial."

[Photos: Lionel Messi tops list of 25 most valuable soccer players in the world]

People are always eager to find ways to compare Messi to Maradona, but continuing a tax evasion case against the prosecutors' recommendations might be taking it a bit too far.

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Brooks Peck is the editor of Dirty Tackle on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him or follow on Twitter!