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Lionel Messi's 21-month prison sentence upheld by Spanish Supreme Court


Lionel Messi's 21 month prison sentence has been confirmed by Spain's Supreme Court, but he is unlikely to serve time behind bars.

Messi and his father Jorge were found guilty by a Catalan court last July on three counts of tax fraud between 2007 and 2009.

Don't worry Messi fans, the 29-year-old may not be serving a prison sentence after all as according to the Spanish law, a tax prison sentence under two years can be served under probation.

Messi tried to defend himself during last year's trial by saying, that when he signed the documents he was young and had signed without reading the documents as his father looked after his financial transactions. He lost the case on Wednesday at the Supreme Court as his sentence remains for 21 months.

Messi, a five-time world footballer of the year, and his father defrauded Spain of €4.1m (£3.5m; $4.6m) in taxes.

Messi is FC Barcelona's all-time top scorer and their highest paid player.

High court's good call on districts
As of this writing, the most newsworthy of the lot is the case about how congressional district lines are drawn in North Carolina. The Supreme Court in 2013 struck down a key part of the Voting Rights Act in a ruling driven by its conservative justices .

Large chunks of income from his image rights managed to go without getting taxed - and while he argued that his father handled his finances and he had "no idea" that this was happening, the courts ultimately ruled against his favor.

The investigation focuses on "money laundering in companies linked to the image rights of the Brazilian football team", police added.

Businessman Rosell, 53, was manager of sporting goods giants Nike in Brazil and oversaw the contract for the national team to wear the United States brand, before taking over as president of Barcelona in 2010.

Brazil star and Barcelona forward Neymar and his parents are due to stand trial for alleged corruption over his transfer from Santos in 2013.

Barca's Argentine defender Javier Mascherano also agreed a one-year suspended sentence with authorities for tax fraud earlier this year.

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