Messi loses appeal against 21-month prison sentence

Barcelona star Lionel Messi Barcelona star Lionel Messi

Barcelona star Lionel Messi has lost his appeal against a suspended 21-month prison sentence for tax fraud.

Messi was given the jail term last July after being found guilty on three counts of tax fraud, with it being ruled he had defrauded Spain of €4.1-million between 2007 and 2009.

Court documents show the 29-year-old lost his appeal to the Spanish Supreme Court, with the sentence issued by a Catalan court being confirmed.

Messi will not face time in jail because, according to Spanish law, sentences for non-violent offences under two years in duration can be served under probation and the forward has no previous criminal convictions.