A court in Spain has sentenced former Barcelona striker and President of the Cameroon Football Federation, Samuel Eto’o, to 22-month in jail over tax fraud.
Eto’o pleaded guilty to the charges on Monday. He, however, blamed his former agent Jose Maria Mesalles, who he referred to as a father, for the offences.
It was learnt that both Eto’o and Mesalles, who also bagged one-year sentence will not serve time in prison since neither of them has a criminal record.
Eto’o and his former agent were given suspended prison sentences for a 3.2m tax fraud relating to his image rights while playing for Barcelona.
The former African Footballer of the Year evaded tax by failing to declare income he made from the transfer of his image rights to Puma and Barcelona in his personal income tax return from 2006 to 2009.
Instead, he taxed the image rights through two companies – one in Spain and one in Hungary – in order to avoid being taxed as heavily.
Eto’o will pay a fine of £1.8 million to Spanish authorities to avoid being jailed, while Mesalles will pay four fines totalling 905,155 euros.