Change of plans and sports stars with tax problems

By NIMROD NL QUIÑONES

 

There will be a change of plans this weekend.  The scheduled football games will be moved to a later date.

While driving to the office I got a call from Rico Navarro, the vice president of the Cebu Football Association (CFA) informing me that the games will have to be rescheduled.

Later in the morning, Rico sent this email, which I will quote:

The Aboitiz Foundation, aligned with its corporate thrust to empathize with victims of the earthquake and super typhoon Yolanda (continue with its relief operations), is asking for the postponement of the soft opening of games set for November 30 and December 1.

            Our apologies for the inconvenience.

***

            This will mean some change of plans for the weekend and I hope the rest of the football community, who have been very excited to start playing would also understand the situation.

            Tournament sponsor Aboitiz is actively involved in helping the survivors of the two recent major natural calamities that hit Visayas – the magnitude 7.2 earthquake that mainly affected Bohol and super typhoon Yolanda that pummeled Eastern Visayas and northern Cebu.

            As a company that has a long track record for corporate social responsibility long before the term was probably coined, the Aboitiz Group would like to focus its efforts first on helping those who need help the most.

            I’m sure that when the rehabilitation efforts shall have settled, we shall see a grand start to the 16th edition of the Aboitiz Cup.

            Now, teams will have more time to practice. 

            We will keep you posted for updates.

***

            I did some research on sports stars with tax problems and came up with several from various websites.

Some were slapped heavy penalties, served jail terms, and declared bankruptcy, but there were also those who were acquitted of the charges.

This matter got me interested with the recent issue hounding boxing champion Manny Pacquiao.

A recent star, who is facing tax problems is Argentinian football star Lionel Messi, who currently plays for FC Barcelona in the Spanish League.  Messi, along with his father Jorge, is facing a 4 million euros ($5.3 million) tax case in Spain.

Former world number 1 tennis player Boris Becker of Germany also had tax problems in the past.  In 2002, he was put on probation for two years and slapped a $500,000 fine by the German government.

Helio Castroneves, who raced cars in the United States and became more popular when he joined the TV show “Dancing with the Stars” was accused of working with his sister and a lawyer to evade more than $2.3 million in taxes.  He was acquitted.

New York Yankees captain Derek Jeter reportedly settled with the State of New York due to problems with regards to income taxes in 2001 to 2003.  The amount was reportedly not disclosed.

Another baseball star, Darryl Strawberry, who also had several brushes with the law, reportedly failed to report an income of $300,000 from autographs and memorabilia in December 1994.  He was ordered to pay $450,000 in back taxes and sentenced to six months home confinement.

Defamed baseball legend Pete Rose was found guilty for two charges of filing false income tax returns.  He was sentenced to five months in jail and paid $300,000 in taxes plus interest.

Legendary boxing promoter Don King was reported to have faced 29 counts of tax evasion and fraud back in 1985, but was acquitted of all charges.

No, I am not going to comment on Pacquiao’s tax problems as I am no expert.  Like many, I hope to see this issue settled soon so we will really know which side is telling the truth.

***

            MILESTONES: Happy birthday greetings to Verona Viajar, Apple Alturas, Boyet Malapitan, Jon Taladua, and Fred Umabong.

More power to all of you!

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