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Messi gets court date over tax fraud allegations

The Spanish tax authorities recently filed a complaint against the Argentine and he will have to testify in court on Sept. 17.

Barcelona star Lionel Messi and his father Jorge have been summoned to appear in court on Sept. 17 in order to provide evidence against recent tax fraud allegations.

A complaint, signed by prosecutor Raquel Amado, was filed with the courthouse in the Gava district of Barcelona last week and it has now been decided that there is enough evidence to summon the Argentine.

The Spanish tax authorities claim that the prolific attacker and his father have avoided paying the charges due from sales of the 25-year-old's image rights by operating through companies based outside of the country, with the missed payments totaling over 4 million euros between 2006 and 2009.

Messi stressed last week that he is innocent and unaware of committing any infringements.

"We have learned through the media about the claim filed by the Spanish tax authorities. We are surprised about this news, because we have not committed any infringement," a statement from the 25-year-old read.

"We have always fulfilled all of our tax obligations, following the advice of our tax consultants, who will take care of clarifying this situation."

Messi's camp hasn't reacted to the latest developments.

Under Spanish law, Messi could face a maximum penalty of six years in prison if found guilty.