Ex-France captain Marcel Desailly faces tax evasion probe
Chelsea and France legend Marcel Desailly is under investigation for tax evasion, documents filed by the government of Switzerland have revealed.
The Swiss tax administration office has been asked by France to turn over all the information it has on an account the former defender holds with banking giant UBS.
It is not clear if Desailly faces claims of impropriety or whether the investigation is simply routine, but Switzerland has been assisting France in eliminating double taxation and preventing fraud and tax evasion, reports Blooomberg.
French authorities made the request in December last year and Ghanaian-born Desailly, one of France’s most revered players of the last 20 years and who won the 1998 World Cup, has 30 days to oppose his home nation’s request.
The 45-year-old is not the first French footballer to be investigated under similar circumstances. Earlier this year Switzerland handed France bank details belonging to former French players Claude Makelele and current Manchester City youth team coach Patrick Vieira. UBS was also mentioned in both cases.
Authorities have not yet said if Makelele or Vieira are accused of any wrongdoing.
Desailly enjoyed an illustrious playing career, including stints with Marseilles, AC Milan and Chelsea, twice winning the Champions League. As well as lifting the World Cup with France, Desailly also helped his team to Euro 2000 victory.
He became France captain after the 2000 tournament and was named Chelsea captain on many occasions during his six years with the club between 1998 and 2004.
He ended his international career in 2004, notching up what was then a record 116 caps for his country and has since been a pundit for BBC and ITV.