Wed, Jul 30, 2014 - Page 18 News List




Messi tax case to go ahead

A court on Monday rejected public prosecutors’ request to drop charges of tax fraud against four-time World Player of the Year Lionel Messi and ordered the probe to go ahead. The Barcelona forward and his father, Jorge Horacio Messi, were accused last year of not paying 4.16 million euros (US$5.58 million) in tax on earnings from the player’s image rights from 2007 to 2009 through the creation of a web of shell companies in Belize and Uruguay. Both Messi and his father denied wrongdoing and pointed the finger instead at a former agent of the player when they were quizzed at a court in Gava, the Barcelona suburb where the player lives, in September last year. Based on the Messis’ testimony, public prosecutors called for the case to be shelved, but the court ruled that Messi “could have known and consented” to the tax fraud and the prosecution of the case should go ahead.


Lens’ promotion confirmed

Racing Club de Lens on Monday had their promotion to Ligue 1 confirmed after successfully appealing a ban on financial grounds. The club were initially barred from taking their place in the French top flight after failing to produce the prerequisite 10 million euro guarantee, but their appeal to the French Olympic Committee, France’s highest sporting authority, was upheld and on Monday the French Football Federation confirmed the club would be rubbing shoulders with Paris Saint-Germain this season. Lens’ appearance in Ligue 1 was subject to various conditions imposed in the ruling.


Toffees sign Bosnia’s Besic

Bosnian midfielder Muhamed Besic has joined Everton from Hungarian club Ferencvarosi TC for an undisclosed fee, the Premier League club said on Monday. Besic, 21, has signed a five-year deal at Goodison Park, the club’s Web site reported. “Muhamed is a young footballer who has developed massively in the last two seasons,” Everton manager Roberto Martinez told the Web site. “He has been playing as a centerhalf and as a defensive midfielder at an incredible level. What he did with Bosnia and Herzegovina in the World Cup, he showed that he is a really mature footballer, that he covers the ground really well, that he is very dynamic and technically very gifted.”


De Vrij to join SS Lazio

Netherlands defender Stefan de Vrij is poised to join SS Lazio from Feyenoord for a fee of about 8.5 million euros, Dutch media reported yesterday. The 22-year-old was an ever-present for the side that finished third at the World Cup and raised his international profile with solid defensive performances and a goal against Spain in their opening match. He was due to undergo a medical yesterday, Lazio said on their Twitter account and was being offered a five-year contract. Feyenoord have already sold Graziano Pelle to Southampton, Bruno Martins Indi to Porto and Daryl Janmaat to Newcastle United in deals media claim to be worth 32 million euros.


AS Monaco sign Bakayoko

AS Monaco have strengthened their midfield in preparation for their first UEFA Champions League campaign in 10 years by signing Tiemoue Bakayoko from Stade Rennais, the club said on Monday. The 19-year-old has joined on a five-year contract for a fee which media reports have put at 8 million euros after an impressive breakthrough season with Rennes.

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