Atletico Madrid forward Diego Costa has been allowed a six-month jail term and a €543,208 fine for tax evasion — although he doesn’t face jail time under Spanish law.
Costa, 31, pleaded blameworthy to evade €1.1 million in taxes on his image rights in a Madrid court Thursday morning.
The allegations apply to 2014 — Spain International marked in July of that year for Chelsea from Atletico — and a complicated arrangement of agreements awarding the marketing rights to several international companies.
Costa paid the outstanding amount in full last year, and will also pay the €543,208 penalty.
His jail sentence was replaced with an additional fine, as is customary in Spain for jail terms of under two years.
“Diego Costa marked an understanding with the prosecutor a couple of months ago and has already paid the related fine in addition to intrigue, and the appeal for a jail term was expelled. An agreement is relied upon to be ratified at court this week, as is mandatory,” a representative for Atletico told Reuters on Wednesday.
The striker, with several prominent cases as of late, is the latest player to fall foul of Spanish authorities over tax evasion on image rights.
Cristiano Ronaldo agreed to fork in a total of €18.8 m in fines and taxes in January 2019 and got a 23-month term, trailed by another €365,000 payout.
Captain Lionel Messi, of Barcelona, got a fine of €2 m and a jail sentence of 21 months — later followed by an extra €500,000 — in 2017.
Luka Modric, Marcelo, Radamel Falcao, Angel Di Maria, and Javier Mascherano have all been associated with other notable occasions.
Xabi Alonso, one of only a handful, not many players who battled charges after declining to reach an accord, was acquitted last November of tax fraud, although the prosecutors have appealed.