Lionel Messi has been banned from playing for Argentina for 3 months and fined $50,000 for his accusations of corruption during the recently concluded Copa America 2019.
Barcelona striker Lionel Messi, 32, was sent off in Argentina’s 2-1 third-place win over Chile and later mentioned the “cup was fixed for Brazil”. According to a report by BBC Sport, he has been fined an additional $50,000 (£41,121) by Conmebol, the South American Football Confederation. Messi has seven days to appeal Conmebol’s decision to ban him.
This means Messi will miss Argentina’s upcoming friendly games with Chile, Mexico and Germany in September and October. Argentina’s qualifying campaign for the 2022 World Cup will definitely begin in March 2020. Following Argentina’s 2-0 semi-final defeat by hosts Brazil, the Argentine Soccer Association complained about “severe refereeing errors”.
In response, Conmebol stated that accusing fingers questioning the integrity of the Copa America were “unfounded” and “symbolize a lack of respect”. Messi was given a red card within the 37th minute during the match against Chile, following a conflict with Gary Medel, who was equally dismissed.
“We do not have to be a part of this corruption,” Messi stated. “They’ve showed us a lack of respect all through this event. “Sadly, the corruption, the referees, they do not permit individuals to take pleasure in soccer, they ruined it a bit.”
Messi is already suspended from the first match of the South American World Cup qualifiers next March because of the apparently undeserved red card he received against Chile.
This is only the second time the Argentine has been sent of in his international career.