Football

Barca 'fully support' Messi after fraud sentence

La Liga club Barcelona have expressed their support for Argentine striker Lionel Messi and his father after the Spanish Supreme Court upheld their prison sentences over tax fraud charges, although neither are expected to go to jail.

Five-time World Player of the Year winner Messi was handed a 21-month prison sentence and fined 2 million euros (S$3.1m) for three counts of tax fraud between 2007 and 2009.

"The club reiterates, once again, its full support for Leo Messi, his father Jorge Messi, and his family," a statement on the club's official website read.

Argentina international Messi has scored 506 goals in 582 senior appearances for Barcelona, winning eight league titles and four Champions League trophies. - REUTERS