Atletico Madrid forward Diego Costa has been asked to pay a fine of 5,43,00 euros after admitting to have defrauded Spanish tax authorities of more than one million euros. Costa was sentenced to six months prison time but avoided after agreeing to pay an additional fine of 36,500 euros. Also Read - Lionel Messi Preparing to Leave FC Barcelona After Pulling Out Of Contract Talks: Report
The case dates back to his move to Chelsea in 2014 when he didn’t declare payments amounting over 5.15 million euros. He also hid image rights worth more than one million euros as well. Also Read - Lionel Messi Scores 700th Goal But Barcelona's La Liga Title Hopes Fade Away After Atletico Draw
“Diego Costa reached an agreement a few months ago with the prosecutor and has already paid the corresponding fine plus interest, and the request for a prison sentence was withdrawn,” an Atletico spokesman told the Reuters news agency. Also Read - Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi? Bhuvneshwar Kumar Picks His Favourite
Costa appeared in court on Thursday wearing a mask due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
After three seasons with Chelsea, the former Brazilian international returned to Atletico in 2017.
Costa is the latest in the list of footballers who have been charged by Spanish tax authorities in recent years in evasion cases.
In 2017, Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi was found to have avoided paying 4.1 million euros in taxes between 2007 and 2009, and ordered to pay fine of 2,52,000 euros.
Former Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo was handed a two-year suspended jail time for tax fraud in 2019. He agreed to pay fine of 18.8 million euros.
Spain’s legal system allows avoidance of jail time under two years for non-violent crimes if the guilty party agrees to pay fine.