BARCELONA: Lionel Messi and his father Jorge Horacio have been summoned by a Spanish court to testify as part of an investigation into tax fraud allegations.

A state prosecutor’s complaint that alleged the World Player of the Year and his father had defrauded the Spanish tax office of €4m was accepted by a court in Gava near Barcelona.

The pair have been called to appear for questioning on September 17 to see whether there are grounds to officially charge them with tax evasion.

Prosecutor Raquel Amada lodged the complaint on June 12 and claimed the Argentina captain and his father had not paid correct taxes from revenue earned from image rights on Messi’s income taxt from 2007-09.

Allegations denied

Messi had previously denied the allegations against him and his father and claimed he first heard the news through the world media.

At the time Messi wrote on his Facebook page: “We have never committed any infringement. We have always fulfilled all our tax obligations, following the advices of our tax consultants who will take care of clarifying this situation.”

Messi earns €16m a year and could face up to six years in prison if found guilty.