Ex Cameroonian skipper Samuel Eto’o, could face up to 10 years imprisonment and a huge €14m fine, for tax crimes committed while in Barcelona, Spain.
According to Spanish paper El Pais, Eto’s alleged tax crimes date from 2006 to 2009, when he played for Barcelona. The skipper reportedly managed to defraud the Spanish government of about 3.5 million euros through an illegal, well crafted structure for his image rights.
The former Barcelona star reportedly ran two companies -Bulte 2002 in Spain and Tradesport in Hungary. Eto’o was able to transfer his image rights between the two company and avoid having to pay tax. The Cameroonian forward through the company structure, avoided paying tax for the huge money (about 1.5 and 3 million euros a season) he received from his sponsorship, with sportswear giants Puma.
Eto’o was the first big name to be probed in an investigation which has since led to the prosecutions of Lionel Messi and Javier Mascherano, who were sentenced to 21 and 18 months respectively. Though still unconcluded, there have been multiple reports to the story. Some reports have suggested that Eto’o will possibly avoid any jail time -and will instead, pay a fine like Messi and Mascherano.
Samuel Eto’o Fils plays as a striker for Turkish club Antalyaspor. He is the most decorated African player of all time, having won the African Player of the Year award a record four times.
After leaving Barca, he won the Champions League at Inter before high-profile moves to Anzhi and Chelsea. Since leaving Stamford Bridge, he has turned out for Everton, Sampdoria and current side Antalyaspor. He has scored three goals in eight outings, for the Super Lig strugglers this term.