BARCELONA: Argentina star Lionel Messi, one of the world’s highest-paid athletes, goes on trial in Barcelona on Tuesday for allegedly defrauding Spain of over four million euros (`29.8 crore) in unpaid taxes.
After winning a league and Cup double with Barcelona, the five-time World Player of the Year and his father will confront in court the accusations that have dogged him since June 2013.
The trial will run until June 2 — the day when Messi is due to testify along with his father.
The court appearance comes just days before he joins his Argentina teammates for the Copa America in the United States.
Messi and his father, Jorge Horacio Messi, are accused of using a chain of fake companies in Belize and Uruguay to avoid paying taxes on 4.16 million euros of Messi’s income earned through the sale of his image rights from 2007-09.
SAINA SEEKS RIO BOOST
JAKARTA: Saina Nehwal will continue her quest for a maiden title this season to boost her confidence ahead of the Rio Olympics when she begins her campaign at the Indonesia Open Super Series Premier starting with the qualifiers here on Monday.
After missing a few tournaments due to a nagging ankle injury, Saina recovered well to notch up a consistent run of form, reaching the semifinals in a slew of events, including the India Open, Malaysia Open and Asian Championship.
NEW TAKERS FOR HULL
LONDON: Potential purchasers of Hull City will have to dig considerably deeper into their pockets after the club secured their Premier League return by winning what was billed as the most lucrative game in world soccer.
Saturday’s 1-0 win over Sheffield Wednesday sparked mass celebrations among tens of thousands of City fans at Wembley.
Manager Steve Bruce dedicated the win to the club’s owner, Egyptian-British businessman Assem Allam, who is reportedly seriously ill.
At most clubs, a backer who had pumped in around $292.46 million (`1960 crore) of his own money would be feted but Hull have been gripped by a very public dispute sparked by the owner’s plans to first rename the club Hull Tigers and then introduce a membership scheme for next season.
NEW DELHI: Olympics-bound Tintu Luka ran a mediocre 800m race to finish fourth in England as Indians continued their efforts to qualify for the Rio Games at various venues in Europe.
Reigning Asian champion and national record holder Luka clocked 2 minutes and 2.79 seconds to finish at fourth place at the British Milers Club Grand Prix 2016 at Watford.
GATLIN BEATS POWELL
EUGENE: Justin Gatlin led wire-to-wire to capture the 100 metres at the Prefontaine Classic as Kendra Harrison delivered the biggest surprise with the fastest women’s 100m hurdles in 28 years.
Gatlin said he was pleased with his winning performance but saved his biggest praise for US Olympic teammate Harrison, who finished just shy of the long-standing world record of 12.21 as she stormed to victory in 12.24.
“She stole my shine,” Gatlin said. “It is an amazing feat.”