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.
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.
Jesus cries his eyes out and PUNCHES VAR stand after he’s sent off in final
How Villa will line up next season with Mings, Benrahma, Webster & Phillips
Maupay set to become Sheff United’s £15m record buy after Brentford slash price
MADE FOR BLADES
Dean Henderson left out of Man Utd tour as keeper nears Sheff Utd loan
Man Utd are incompetent and re-writing book on how NOT to do transfer business
In the Bagg
Barca beat PSG to England youth ace Louie Barry after he rejects West Brom deal
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.”