Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Ballacks !

Chelsea midfielder Michael Ballack has been fined 70,000 euros (£47,000) for not paying tax on a gift for his wife.

The incident occurred in January when Ballack returned from a training camp in Dubai with former club Bayern Munich carrying a 2,000-euro (£1,350) handbag.

At Munich airport, the 29-year-old filed through the channel labelled 'nothing to declare', but on a random check by German customs officials the item was found and he was accused of trying to avoid paying 350 euros (£235) in taxes.

Ballack refused to pay the 50,000-euro (£33,700) fine imposed by the Landshut State Prosecutioners and was then sent a new bill for 60,000 euros (£40,400).

The Germany captain has finally agreed to pay the fine, which has since risen to 70,000 euros (£47,000), 65,000 euros (£43,800) of which will be donated to good causes and 5,000 euros (£3,370) will cover the administrative costs for the Landshut court.

By paying the fine, Ballack has avoided a court case, which was due to take place on August 31.

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