Barcelona superstar, Lionel Messi could be banned from traveling to the United Kingdom if the Catalan giants are drawn with an English side in the UEFA Champions League, that is if Brexit goes through as planned.
The 32-year-old who is an EU citizen thanks to a dual Spanish-Argentine passport, has in the past been convicted for tax fraud with the striker even serving a 21-month suspended prison sentence by the Spanish courts.
As he is a EU citizen, he is free to travel to the UK currently as it is a non-violent conviction, but if the country leaves the EU then the Dailymail reports that he could face some troubles when it comes to travel.
Brexit is giving people from all across the globe headaches... Lionel Messi being one of them. 👀— FOX Sports Football (@FOXFOOTBALL) October 7, 2019
Now, the FC Barcelona legend could potentially be barred from the UK after Brexit.
HERE'S WHY: https://t.co/ITTxFvSpKP pic.twitter.com/XVpPAN3ONr
"There is a specific point around European games. If you are an EU citizen with a criminal conviction, you can travel to the UK, as long as you are not deemed to be a threat to national security," Andrew Osbourne, an immigration lawyer said.
"If you are not an EU citizen and have a conviction or prison sentence imposed - even if suspended - you are banned from coming to the UK. There are a number of very famous footballers with convictions and suspended sentences for tax evasion. They, thus far, have not had to worry as they have EU passports."
"But post-Brexit, they potentially may not be able to enter the country (as they will be treated like non-EU nationals). Anyone with a prison sentence of any sort, the starting point is you are not allowed in. This could provide disruption to Champions League squads and also whether they (UEFA) will play finals in England if players potentially may not be able to come in. Clubs will need to take steps."
It will be interesting to see how situation will be dealt with if it does arise in the near future.