Lionel Messi could face two-year international ban after blasting ‘corrupt’ referees following Argentina red card against Chile

LIONEL MESSI could be banned for TWO YEARS for claiming the Copa America tournament is “corrupt”.

The Barcelona superstar was controversially sent off for kicking out at former Cardiff ­midfielder Gary Medel in Argentina’s 2-1 third-place play-off win over Chile.

Lionel Messi was sent off for Argentina for kicking out at opponent Gary Medel

Following the challenge the pair then went head-to-head which resulted in Medel also being dismissed.

After only his second ever dismissal — his first was 14 years ago — Messi, 32, refused to collect his medal then stormed: “There is no doubt, the whole thing is set up for Brazil.

“I did not want to be part of this corruption. We shouldn’t have to be part of this disrespect we suffered during the Copa America.

“We could have gone further, but we weren’t allowed into the final. Corruption, referees and all the rest stopped people from enjoying the football.”

And now Spanish news-site AS claims Messi could be banned from international competition two years.

It’s unacceptable there have been unfounded accusations that misrepresent the truth and put to judgement the integrity of Copa America


There are rules in place that prohibit insulting the South American Football Federation or anyone working with or for the organisation.

A statement from South American football’s governing body, CONMEBOL, read: “Accepting the outcome of a match with respect is a fundamental pillar of fair play.

“The same goes for the refereeing decisions.

“It’s unacceptable there have been unfounded accusations that misrepresent the truth and put to judgement the integrity of Copa America.

“These represent a lack of respect for the competition.”

But whether the federation would want to ban their biggest name remains to be seen.

It was Messi’s second rant at the standard of refereeing following Argentina’s semi-final defeat to Brazil, which secured the hosts a place in last night’s final against Peru.

Speaking before that game, he added: “I hope VAR and referees don’t play any part in the final and that Peru can compete — but it looks tough to me.

“I always tell the truth and I’m honest. If what I say has repercussions that is not my business.”

Lionel Messi went head-to-head with a furious Gary Medel at the weekend
After Argentina’s 2-1 win against Chile, Messi blasted the standard of refereeing at the Copa America
AFP or licensors


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