Samuel Eto’o pleads guilty. The president of the Cameroon Football Federation was sentenced to 22 months in prison and fined for tax evasion. Between 2006 and 2009, the former Barça player failed to declare 3.8 million euros to the Spanish Treasury. He was then playing in Barcelona and his agent at the time, José Maria Mesalles, accused of the same offence, was punished with one year in prison. The prosecution had requested four years for Eto’o and 6 months for his former representative.
The two men will not, however, be incarcerated. In Spain, sentences of less than two years are rarely carried out. The lack of criminal records of the two protagonists exempted them from prison. They will nevertheless have to pay heavy sums: the former footballer (41) was fined 1.8 million euros, José Maria Mesalles 900,000 euros.
“I was a kid then”
“I recognize the facts and I will pay, but let it be known that I was a child at the time and that I always did what my father asked me to do”, proclaimed the one who was elected president of the Cameroon Football Federation last January. However, he filed a complaint against the man he considered his father, Mesalles, for fraud and embezzlement in the management of his assets.
At the end of 2021, the Cameroonian appeared on a list of “debtors” with public finances. The former Majorcan owed precisely 981,598.19 euros to the Iberian tax authorities.