Belfast Telegraph

Manchester United star Alexis Sanchez handed 16 month prison sentence

By Kevin Palmer

Manchester United forward Alexis Sanchez has been handed a 16-month prison sentence in Spain, after accepting two counts of tax fraud relating to his time in Spain with Barcelona.

Sanchez will not have to serve time in a Spanish jail after he came to agreement with prosecutors after being accused of defrauding the treasury of €1 million between 2012 and 2013.

The Chilean forward who moved from Arsenal to United in last month’s transfer window declared through video conference from London that he would accept two separate eight-month sentences, but he will not serve either behind bars unless he commits any further offences in the next two years.

The Sanchez case is the latest in a long list of high profile prosecutions brought by Spanish authorities against football personalities and their tax payments.

Disputes over whether images rights should be included as earnings in Spain were at the root of several cases, with United manager Jose Mourinho and Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi and Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo among those embroiled in unwanted court appearances.

In accordance with Spanish custom, first-time offenders whose prison terms do not exceed two years will not serve time in jail and as Sanchez is no longer earning his living in Spain, his brush with their tax authorities now appears to be over.

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