Bengaluru, January 3: Xabi Alonso refused a settlement over tax fraud charges that could see the former Spanish midfielder jailed for five years if found guilty. He, however, has finally decided to appear in court on 22 January to respond to charges of tax fraud.
As per the Spanish authorities, the 37-year-old midfielder did not declare his earnings from image rights and owes the authorities almost $3million tax. The income relates to the period 2010 to 2012 when the former Spanish international was playing for Real Madrid. The midfielder is alleged to have used a Madeira-based company for his image rights, and the Portuguese island being away from Spanish fiscal control was the issue.
The prosecutors proposed Alonso to settle the matter outside the court by paying the fine, but the former Liverpool midfielder duly refused to accept the charges and has now taken the matter to court.
Former Liverpool ace Xabi Alonso is in a bit of trouble.— FOX Sports Football (@FOXFOOTBALL) January 1, 2019
He will go to court after refusing a settlement over tax fraud charges that could see him jailed for FIVE years if found guilty. 😲
MORE: https://t.co/9Eb8VK02dq pic.twitter.com/ShAPbwRZQ2
The midfielder will appear in the court on January 22nd and should he lose the case, he could be handed a jail term. The Public Prosecutor wants him to be jailed for eight years while the authorities could put him behind bars for five-years. However, as per some reports in Spain, even if he is found guilty he won't be jailed.
In the last two years, several top names in the La Liga like Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Jose Mourinho etc had faced charges from the Spanish tax authorities.
Messi and his father were both found guilty of three counts of tax fraud and the Argentine Superstar was even given a 21-month prison sentence. But it was later replaced with a fine. Ronaldo, Mourinho and Mascherano also were accused of tax fraud, but all of them settled the matter outside the court by paying a hefty fine.