Footballer Samuel Eto’o Faces Prison Sentence for Tax Evasion

Mark Babatunde November 25, 2016
Spanish prosecutors are seeking a ten-year prison sentence for former Barcelona star Samuel Eto Photo Credit: Francefootball

Prosecutors in Spain are pushing for a more than 10-year prison sentence for Cameroonian footballer Samuel Eto’o on allegations of tax evasion. Prosecutors are also demanding that the 4-time African Footballer of the Year pay a fine of $15.1 million. According to the AP,  Eto’o is charged on four counts of tax fraud for allegedly cheating Spanish authorities of nearly $4 million between 2006-2009 when he played for FC Barcelona.

The 35-year-old, who now plays for Antalyaspor of Turkey, played in 198 games for Barcelona between 2004 and 2009, scoring more than 100 times in that period. His solid performances helped FC Barcelona to three La Liga titles and two Champions League trophies.

Prosecutors are also seeking similar punishment for Eto’s agent at the time, Jose Maria Mesalles Mata. In addition, the administrator that facilitated the deals, Manuel de Jesus Lastre Abreu, is facing more than six years in prison and a fine of $2.3 million.

Footballer Samuel Eto’o Faces Prison Sentence for Tax Evasion

Samuel Eto scored 129 goals for FC Barcelona during his time in Spain. Photo Credit: NewsduSport

Spanish authorities have been clamping down on tax fraud cases, with a number of high profile footballers recently getting charged for tax crimes.

In June, FC Barcelona was forced to pay a fine of $5.8 million for the irregularities surrounding the transfer of Brazilian superstar Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior from former club Santos FC of Brazil

In July, reigning FIFA Player of the Year, Lionel Messi, and his father were handed a 21-month suspended prison sentence for tax fraud. Javier Mascherano, another Barcelona player, was also handed a one-year sentence after a Spanish court found him guilty of tax-related fraud.

Spotless Career Tainted

Eto’o is the most accomplished African footballer of all time, winning the CAF African Footballer of the Year a record 4 times. As a member of the Cameroonian national football team, Eto’o won Olympic gold at the Sidney Games in 2000.

He would go on to play in six African Cup of Nations tournaments, winning the competition twice and becoming the competition’s leading all-time scorer with 18 goals.

Eto’o’s performances for his club sides were no less outstanding. In 2005, he placed third in voting for the FIFA World Player of the Year after his play helped Barcelona to a league title.

In 2010, he became the first player to win two European Continental trebles after he lifted the Champions League trophy with Inter Milan, barely twelve months after he achieved a similar feat with FC Barcelona.

Last Edited by:Charles Gichane Updated: June 19, 2018


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