Sanchez punished for tax evasion in Spain

Kristopher Nichols
February 8, 2018

Alexis Sanchez has accepted a 16-month suspended prison sentence and been fined €590,065 (£524,575) for tax fraud relating to his image rights while a Barcelona player.

He was sentenced to two eight-month suspended jail sentences to run consecutively, although prosecutors have called for the sentence to be lifted after two years if he does not re-offend.

The 29-year-old's sentence takes after a string of prominent footballers who have been examined for impose extortion including Jose Mourinho and Cristiano Ronaldo.

The Manchester United striker reached an agreement whereby he will repay the money owed, plus interest, and recognised that he falsified the sale of his image rights to a foreign company in order to avoid paying tax.

"Once again, there has been a leak from the Spanish tax office, [this time] outlining an agreement between our client Alexis Sanchez and public prosecutors", Felicevich said in a statement.

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"Given the awful experiences suffered by Messi, Ronaldo, etc have had to suffer, we concluded that it was better to accept an unjust agreement but be able to turn the page and not to be subjected to political and media pressure".

He described Alexis's offences as only "supposed crimes", even though Sanchez's plea bargain involved admitting he had broken the law.

Felicevich insisted the "alleged crimes" were practices used over a long period of time by many players and previously accepted by the Spanish taxman. In some cases, there is no choice but to bow to that pressure and, to avoid greater injustice, accept injustice like this.

He added: "Prosecutors have decided on their own criteria which players to accuse, nearly all of them foreigners, and exercised threats and public pressure through the media to force the players and managers to accept these totally unjust agreements".

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