Lionel Messi arrives at the airport in Rosario, Argentina, on Sunday before flying to Barcelona to testify in a court case of alleged tax evasion. Jose Granata / EPA
Lionel Messi arrives at the airport in Rosario, Argentina, on Sunday before flying to Barcelona to testify in a court case of alleged tax evasion. Jose Granata / EPA

‘I don’t know what I sign’ Lionel Messi allegedly told judge in fraud case – report



BARCELONA // Argentina star Lionel Messi, who is due to go on trial in Barcelona for alleged tax fraud, told a judge that he never looks at the contracts he signs, El Periodico daily said Monday.

The newspaper got access to Messi’s September 2013 statement to a judge and published extracts just a day before the five-time World Player of the Year and his father stand trial.

“I signed things, but I never look at the contracts. I don’t know what I sign,” he allegedly said.

See also:

Barcelona's Neymar maintains 'Teflon-like' golden status against legal issues

Neymar and Barcelona chiefs set to appear in court over murky transfer deal from Santos

Barcelona's Lionel Messi and father to stand tax fraud trial in Spain

Messi and his father, Jorge Horacio Messi, are accused of using a chain of fake companies in Belize and Uruguay to avoid paying taxes on €4.16 million (Dh17m) of Messi’s income earned through the sale of his image rights from 2007-09.

They have been charged with three counts of tax fraud.

According to the alleged statement published by the Barcelona daily, the judge showed him several sponsorship contracts that he signed, but he did not remember them.

“This is something that my dad manages. And I trust him. I devote myself to playing football,” he reportedly said. “I do what he tells me to.”

Spanish prosecutors are seeking a jail sentence of 22-and-a-half months for Messi and his father if they are found guilty, plus fines equivalent to the amount that was allegedly defrauded.

But any such sentence would likely be suspended as is common in Spain for first offences carrying a sentence of less than two years.

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Name: DarDoc
Based: Abu Dhabi
Founders: Samer Masri, Keswin Suresh
Sector: HealthTech
Total funding: $800,000
Investors: Flat6Labs, angel investors + Incubated by Hub71, Abu Dhabi's Department of Health
Number of employees: 10

Bahrain GP

Friday qualifying: 7pm (8pm UAE)

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TV: BeIN Sports

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Engine: Twin-turbocharged 4-litre V8
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Torque: 630Nm
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Company name: Hoopla
Date started: March 2023
Founder: Jacqueline Perrottet
Based: Dubai
Number of staff: 10
Investment stage: Pre-seed
Investment required: $500,000

Fixtures

Wednesday, April 3

Arsenal v Luton Town, 10.30pm (UAE)

Manchester City v Aston Villa, 11.15pm (UAE)

Thursday, April 4

Liverpool v Sheffield United, 10.30pm (UAE)

The Specs

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In numbers: China in Dubai

The number of Chinese people living in Dubai: An estimated 200,000

Number of Chinese people in International City: Almost 50,000

Daily visitors to Dragon Mart in 2018/19: 120,000

Daily visitors to Dragon Mart in 2010: 20,000

Percentage increase in visitors in eight years: 500 per cent

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(D Silva 26', Sterling 38', 81', 87', De Bruyne 61', Jesus 68')

Watford 0

Man of the match: Bernardo Silva (Manchester City)

Brief scores:

Toss: Rajputs, elected to field first

Sindhis 94-6 (10 ov)

Watson 42; Munaf 3-20

Rajputs 96-0 (4 ov)

Shahzad 74 not out

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4.40pm: Burj Nahaar – Group 3 (TB) $250,000 (D) 1,600m
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5.15pm: Nad Al Sheba Turf Sprint – Group 3 (TB) $250,000 (T) 1,200m
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7.45pm: Jebel Hatta – Group 1 (TB) $350,000 (T) 1,800m
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8.20pm: Mahab Al Shimaal – Group 3 (TB) $250,000 (D) 1,200m
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Company Profile

Company: Astra Tech
Started: March 2022
Based: Dubai
Founder: Abdallah Abu Sheikh
Industry: technology investment and development
Funding size: $500m

ROUTE TO TITLE

Round 1: Beat Leolia Jeanjean 6-1, 6-2
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Round 3: Beat Marie Bouzkova 6-4, 6-2
Round 4: Beat Anastasia Potapova 6-0, 6-0
Quarter-final: Beat Marketa Vondrousova 6-0, 6-2
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Final: Beat Jasmine Paolini 6-2, 6-2

Western Region Asia Cup T20 Qualifier

Sun Feb 23 – Thu Feb 27, Al Amerat, Oman

The two finalists advance to the Asia qualifier in Malaysia in August

 

Group A

Bahrain, Maldives, Oman, Qatar

Group B

UAE, Iran, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia

 

UAE group fixtures

Sunday Feb 23, 9.30am, v Iran

Monday Feb 25, 1pm, v Kuwait

Tuesday Feb 26, 9.30am, v Saudi

 

UAE squad

Ahmed Raza, Rohan Mustafa, Alishan Sharafu, Ansh Tandon, Vriitya Aravind, Junaid Siddique, Waheed Ahmed, Karthik Meiyappan, Basil Hameed, Mohammed Usman, Mohammed Ayaz, Zahoor Khan, Chirag Suri, Sultan Ahmed

Jewel of the Expo 2020

252 projectors installed on Al Wasl dome

13.6km of steel used in the structure that makes it equal in length to 16 Burj Khalifas

550 tonnes of moulded steel were raised last year to cap the dome

724,000 cubic metres is the space it encloses

Stands taller than the leaning tower of Pisa

Steel trellis dome is one of the largest single structures on site

The size of 16 tennis courts and weighs as much as 500 elephants

Al Wasl means connection in Arabic

World’s largest 360-degree projection surface

COMPANY PROFILE

Name: Xpanceo

Started: 2018

Founders: Roman Axelrod, Valentyn Volkov

Based: Dubai, UAE

Industry: Smart contact lenses, augmented/virtual reality

Funding: $40 million

Investor: Opportunity Venture (Asia)

SPEC SHEET: SAMSUNG GALAXY Z FLIP5

Display: Main – 6.7" FHD+ Dynamic Amoled 2X, 2640 x 1080, 22:9, 425ppi, HDR10+, up to 120Hz; cover – 3/4" Super Amoled, 720 x 748, 306ppi

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Memory: 8GB

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In the box: Flip 4, USB-C-to-USB-C cable

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COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: Revibe
Started: 2022
Founders: Hamza Iraqui and Abdessamad Ben Zakour
Based: UAE
Industry: Refurbished electronics
Funds raised so far: $10m
Investors: Flat6Labs, Resonance and various others

PREMIER LEAGUE TABLE

1 Man City  26  20 3 3 63 17  63 

2 Liverpool  25 17 6 2 64 20  57 

3 Chelsea  25 14 8 3 49 18  50 

4 Man Utd  26 13 7 6 44 34  46 

----------------------------------------

5 West Ham  26 12 6 8 45 34  42 

----------------------------------------

6 Arsenal  23 13 3 7 36 26  42 

7 Wolves  24 12 4 8 23 18  40 

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Celta Vigo 2
Castro (45'), Aspas (82')

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Dembele (36'), Alcacer (64')

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Profile of Tamatem

Date started: March 2013

Founder: Hussam Hammo

Based: Amman, Jordan

Employees: 55

Funding: $6m

Funders: Wamda Capital, Modern Electronics (part of Al Falaisah Group) and North Base Media

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Jawbone Press

Living in...

This article is part of a guide on where to live in the UAE. Our reporters will profile some of the country’s most desirable districts, provide an estimate of rental prices and introduce you to some of the residents who call each area home. 

Winners

Best Men's Player of the Year: Kylian Mbappe (PSG)

Maradona Award for Best Goal Scorer of the Year: Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich)

TikTok Fans’ Player of the Year: Robert Lewandowski

Top Goal Scorer of All Time: Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United)

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Best Goalkeeper of the Year: Gianluigi Donnarumma (PSG/Italy)

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Best National Team of the Year: Italy

Best Agent of the Year: Federico Pastorello

Best Sporting Director of the Year: Txiki Begiristain (Manchester City)

Player Career Award: Ronaldinho

UAE athletes heading to Paris 2024

Equestrian
Abdullah Humaid Al Muhairi, Abdullah Al Marri, Omar Al Marzooqi, Salem Al Suwaidi, and Ali Al Karbi (four to be selected).
Judo
Men: Narmandakh Bayanmunkh (66kg), Nugzari Tatalashvili (81kg), Aram Grigorian (90kg), Dzhafar Kostoev (100kg), Magomedomar Magomedomarov (+100kg); women's Khorloodoi Bishrelt (52kg).

Cycling
Safia Al Sayegh (women's road race).

Swimming
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Athletics
Maryam Mohammed Al Farsi (women's 100 metres).

COMPANY PROFILE


Company name: Clara
Started: 2019
Founders: Patrick Rogers, Lee McMahon, Arthur Guest, Ahmed Arif
Based: Dubai
Industry: LegalTech
Funding size: $4 million of seed financing
Investors: Wamda Capital, Shorooq Partners, Techstars, 500 Global, OTF, Venture Souq, Knuru Capital, Plug and Play and The LegalTech Fund

Company profile

Company name: Fasset
Started: 2019
Founders: Mohammad Raafi Hossain, Daniel Ahmed
Based: Dubai
Sector: FinTech
Initial investment: $2.45 million
Current number of staff: 86
Investment stage: Pre-series B
Investors: Investcorp, Liberty City Ventures, Fatima Gobi Ventures, Primal Capital, Wealthwell Ventures, FHS Capital, VN2 Capital, local family offices

MATCH INFO

Borussia Dortmund 0

Bayern Munich 1 (Kimmich 43')

Man of the match: Joshua Kimmich (Bayern Munich)

SHALASH THE IRAQI

Author: Shalash
Translator: Luke Leafgren
Pages: 352
Publisher: And Other Stories

Company name: Play:Date

Launched: March 2017 on UAE Mother’s Day

Founder: Shamim Kassibawi

Based: Dubai with operations in the UAE and US

Sector: Tech 

Size: 20 employees

Stage of funding: Seed

Investors: Three founders (two silent co-founders) and one venture capital fund

MEYDAN RACECARD

6pm Arabian Adventures – Maiden (TB) Dh82,500 (Dirt) 1,200m
6.35pm Emirates Sky Cargo – Handicap (TB) 87,500 (D) 2,000m
7.10pm Emirates Holiday – Maiden (TB) Dh82,500 (D) 1,400m
7.45pm Emirates Skywards – Handicap (TB) Dh87,500 (D) 1,400m
8.20pm Emirates Airline – Handicap (TB) Dh105,000 (D) 1,600m
8.55pm Emirates Airline – Handicap (TB) Dh105,000 (D) 1,900m
9.30pm Emirates.com – Handicap (TB_ Dh87,500 (D) 1,200m

Confirmed bouts (more to be added)

Cory Sandhagen v Umar Nurmagomedov
Nick Diaz v Vicente Luque
Michael Chiesa v Tony Ferguson
Deiveson Figueiredo v Marlon Vera
Mackenzie Dern v Loopy Godinez

Tickets for the August 3 Fight Night, held in partnership with the Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi, went on sale earlier this month, through www.etihadarena.ae and www.ticketmaster.ae.

Company profile

Company name: Twig Solutions (with trade name Twig)
Started: 2021
Founders: Chafic Idriss, Karam El Dik and Rayan Antonios
Based: UAE
Sector: FinTech
Initial investment: bootstrapped (undisclosed)
Current number of staff: 13
Investment stage: pre-seed — closing the round as we speak
Investors: senior executives from the GCC financial services industry and global family offices

BUNDESLIGA FIXTURES

Friday (all kick-offs UAE time)

Hertha Berlin v Union Berlin (10.30pm)

Saturday

Freiburg v Werder Bremen (5.30pm)

Paderborn v Hoffenheim (5.30pm)

Wolfsburg v Borussia Dortmund (5.30pm)

Borussia Monchengladbach v Bayer Leverkusen (5.30pm)

Bayern Munich v Eintracht Frankfurt (5.30pm)

Sunday

Schalke v Augsburg (3.30pm)

Mainz v RB Leipzig (5.30pm)

Cologne v Fortuna Dusseldorf (8pm)

Director: Nag Ashwin

Starring: Prabhas, Saswata Chatterjee, Deepika Padukone, Amitabh Bachchan, Shobhana

Rating: ★★★★

COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: BorrowMe (BorrowMe.com)

Date started: August 2021

Founder: Nour Sabri

Based: Dubai, UAE

Sector: E-commerce / Marketplace

Size: Two employees

Funding stage: Seed investment

Initial investment: $200,000

Investors: Amr Manaa (director, PwC Middle East)

AIDA RETURNS

Director: Carol Mansour

Starring: Aida Abboud, Carol Mansour

Rating: 3.5./5

About Proto21

Date started: May 2018
Founder: Pir Arkam
Based: Dubai
Sector: Additive manufacturing (aka, 3D printing)
Staff: 18
Funding: Invested, supported and partnered by Joseph Group

Short-term let permits explained

Homeowners and tenants are allowed to list their properties for rental by registering through the Dubai Tourism website to obtain a permit.

Tenants also require a letter of no objection from their landlord before being allowed to list the property.

There is a cost of Dh1,590 before starting the process, with an additional licence fee of Dh300 per bedroom being rented in your home for the duration of the rental, which ranges from three months to a year.

Anyone hoping to list a property for rental must also provide a copy of their title deeds and Ejari, as well as their Emirates ID.

Moonfall

Director: Rolan Emmerich

Stars: Patrick Wilson, Halle Berry

Rating: 3/5


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