Blatter blames football culture for Ronaldo tax evasionShare:
Sepp Blatter has claimed a culture of suspicion in football is to blame for the investigation of Cristiano Ronaldo by Spanish tax authorities.Spanish prosecutors had last Tuesday have filed a complaint in which they accused Ronaldo of a "voluntary" and "conscious" breach of his tax obligations, amounting to a figure of €14.7million.
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The 81-year-old Swiss is serving a six-year ban from all football-related activity over a "disloyal payment" made to former UEFA president Michel Platini.
Speaking with RTS, former FIFA president Blatter claimed Ronaldo's situation is a consequence of endemic distrust in football compared to other elite sports.
"One would never suspect [tennis great Roger] Federer, a money-making machine," he said.
"Federer is untouchable."
Reflecting on the temptation for athletes to break the rules on the field, Blatter cited the example of Diego Maradona's infamous 'Hand of God' goal against England at the 1986 World Cup.
"It's not good, but we cheat anyway," he said.
"That's why this sport [football] has set itself some safeguards."
He is one of the latest high-profile footballers to be charged by Spanish prosecutors for tax evasion. Archrival, Lionel Messi, and his Father Jorge Messi were sentenced last July sentenced to 21 months imprisonment for tax invasion.
However since both men have no prior criminal history and the sentence is below 2 years, they will spend no time behind bars.The authorities allege that the two used tax havens in Belize and Uruguay to conceal earnings from image rights.
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