Good news for USA soccer fans as the date for Lionel Messi’s tax fraud trial has been reset to allow him to play in this summer’s Copa America tournament.
The trial had been scheduled to begin on June 7 would have seen Messi at least miss Argentina’s opening group game against reigning champions Chile in Santa Clara on June 6.
However, a judicial source said on Wednesday that the trial would start as scheduled on May 31 after a “misunderstanding” regarding the dates without offering further details.
Messi and his father Jorge have been charged with tax fraud for allegedly failing to declare €4.16 million in taxes related to his image rights between 2007 and 2009 through front companies in Belize and Uruguay.
While Spanish prosecutors are seeking a jail sentence of 22-and-a-half months for the five-time World Player of the Year, Messi is not expected to be of any risk of going to jail, even if he is found guilty as it is as is common in Spain for first offenses carrying a sentence of less than two years to be suspended.
In addition to the game against Chile, Argentina will also play group games against Panama and Bolivia.
Argentina Copa America Schedule
June 6: Argentina vs Chile Levi’s Stadium – Santa Clara, CA – Buy Tickets
June 10: Argentina vs Panama Soldier Field – Chicago, IL – Buy Tickets
June 14: Argentina vs Bolivia CenturyLink Field – Seattle, WA – Buy Tickets