Messi given three-month Argentina ban for accusing CONMEBOL of 'corruption'

By Ryan Benson 3 August 2019 455
Messi given three-month Argentina ban for accusing CONMEBOL of 'corruption'

Lionel Messi has been handed a three-month ban from international football for accusing South America's governing body CONMEBOL of "corruption" during the Copa America.

Barcelona star Messi was sent off, along with aggressor Gary Medel, after an altercation as Argentina beat Chile 2-1 in the competition's third-place play-off last month, the referee's decision appearing especially curious as he did not look back at the footage on the pitch-side VAR monitor.

After the match, Messi did not appear with his team-mates to collect a medal, sparking questioning from reporters.

Messi explained his snub of the ceremony as not wanting to "be part of this corruption, this lack of respect towards the whole Copa".

He also blasted the officiating at the competition following Argentina's semi-final loss to hosts Brazil, before then suggesting referees and the VAR would favour Tite's men against Peru in the final, which the Selecao won 3-1.

As punishment for his outbursts, Messi is to serve a three-month suspension from Friday's announcement, ruling him out of Argentina matches until November.

That means he will miss friendlies against Chile, Mexico and Germany, while Messi has also been fined $50,000.

CONMEBOL has given the forward seven days to appeal the sanctions.

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