Lionel Messi may be recuperating from injury in Argentina but allegations of money laundering look set to bring his father Jorge into the spotlight once again.
An article in El Mundo today claims Jorge Messi is at the centre of a money laundering investigation involving Colombian drug money.
Jorge Messi has been questioned by the tax authorities in Spain and four Barcelona players (Lionel Messi, Dani Alves Javier Mascherano and Pinto) have also been interviewed in connection with the case.
The case concerns the “Friends of Messi” charity matches that were played for charity this past summer.
It is alleged that Jorge Messi sold front row tickets to the encounter that were not utilised, thereby laundering money for Colombian drug traffickers.
Essentially, the cartels would organise the events under umbrella companies and then claim to have sold loads of “row 0” tickets (tickets bought by people who wouldn’t attend and just buy since some of the revenue goes towards a good cause).
Messi senior was allegedly in touch with the Colombians, on behalf of the Barcelona players, in exchange for 10-20 % of the profit.
The four Barcelona players have denied all knowledge and a statement is expected later on today from Jorge Messi who could take legal action against El Mundo.
Messi and his family, according to Sport.es, believe this to be a smear campaign from Madrid to discredit the Barcelona number 10.
But, this is the second time this year, Lionel Messi has been linked with tax issues and those friendly matches look to have been detrimental to his playing career, leaving aside whatever is alleged.