The Economic Times - - Sports -

Lionel Messi's fam­ily has de­nied Span­ish me­dia re­ports that arose fol­low­ing the leak of the 'Panama pa­pers' that said he was in­volved in a tax eva­sion scheme. While hold­ing money in off­shore com­pa­nies is not il­le­gal, Messi, 28, was on Sun­day ac­cused by Span­ish news­pa­per El Con­fi­den­cial of creat­ing a com­pany with the aim of evad­ing tax. His fam­ily is­sued a state­ment on Mon­day deny­ing al­le­ga­tions it said were pub­lished by var­i­ous me­dia or­gan­i­sa­tions that Messi had cre­ated a cor­po­rate struc­ture aimed at "set­ting up a tax fraud net­work". It added: "The Messi fam­ily wish to make it clear Lionel Messi has not car­ried out any of the acts of which he is ac­cused in the sto­ries and that the al­le­ga­tions of him hav­ing de­signed a tax eva­sion project are false and in­ju­ri­ous, as are those re­lat­ing to the cre­ation of a money laun­der­ing net­work. Mean­while, Barcelona, have given Messi's fam­ily their back­ing. "Barcelona wishes to ex­press the club trusts the ar­gu­ments the Messi fam­ily have made pub­lic and that from the mo­ment the doc­u­ments link­ing Leo Messi with 'the Panama pa­pers' were made pub­lic, Barcelona have shown their sup­port and sol­i­dar­ity to the player and all his fam­ily," the Euro­pean cham­pi­ons said in a state­ment.

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