Diego Costa could face 6-month sentence if guilty of tax fraud


Atletico Madrid's Diego Costa. (Rodrigo Jimenez/EPA)

MADRID — A six-month prison sentence will be sought against Atletico Madrid striker Diego Costa for alleged tax fraud, Spain’s state prosecutors’ office said on Friday.

If found guilty, Costa could still avoid jail time because in Spain sentences for less than two years can be suspended by a judge.

Costa is accused of not paying more than 1 million euros ($1.1 million) from money earned by image rights.

The court date has been set for next Thursday.

Spain has cracked down on tax fraud by soccer players in recent years, including stars Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo and coach Jose Mourinho. None of them did prison time, but they did pay hefty fines.

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