Barcelona Blaugrana captain accused of tax fraud
LaLiga president Javier Tebas believes that Lionel Messi has been unfairly treated by the Spanish tax office.
Messi admitted on Wednesday that he considered leaving Spain because of tax allegations against him in 2013.
“We were never scared [that Messi would leave Spain] because we didn’t know what he was thinking,” Tebas said at the Cirque du Soleil’s Messi-inspired show.
“With [this week’s] interview, I got scared and [then] I was relieved to see that, just as well, he decided to stay. In this low moment, he decided to continue.
“I want to thank Messi for continuing in our league. If he feels down again, he shouldn’t have any doubts that we will support him and call him, that we will keep supporting him.
A few years ago, Messi was accused of tax fraud and the Argentine felt that he was treated unfairly by the Spanish tax office, and Tebas agrees.
“I don’t think there was cruelty, but they were unfair with him as a physical person,” Tebas said.
“It’s clear that he didn’t sign or didn’t read everything. They would tell him where to sign and he would do it.
“I don’t read all the LaLiga contracts otherwise I’d be there all day.
“I’m convinced that it was an administrative issue and not criminal.”
It was announced this week that Messi’s Barcelona teammate Ousmane Dembele would miss the Clasico with Real Madrid through suspension.
“If I said this, it’s inconsideration and it’s two matches,” Tebas said.
“It’s a shame that he can’t play in the Clasico, but rules are rules.”
The summer was full of speculation over whether Neymar would return to Barcelona and Tebas has admitted that he’d welcome the Brazilian back in LaLiga.
“Neymar, [Jose] Mourinho, [Pep] Guardiola… there’s room for everyone,” Tebas said.
“[Neymar] is at PSG and at the time the signing seemed unrealistic in this market and I think that the market still isn’t ready for it.”
The Spanish Football Federation are set to announce the host country for January’s Supercopa De Espana and Tebas doesn’t think holding it in Saudi Arabia is a good idea.
“If they make [hosting it in Saudi Arabia] official, it seems bad it me,” Tebas said.
“Bad for two things: the human rights in Saudi Arabia and because they didn’t broadcast Spanish football nor European football nor the Champions League there two years ago.
“There’s a law that allows BeIN to sell in Saudi Arabia. This has caused BeIN to lose one million [euros].”