Lionel Messi has been banned from International football for a period of three months following his corruption claims regarding Copa America organizers, CONMEBOL.
Added to that, the Argentine talisman has also been fined $50,000 by the South American football federation, CONMEBOL.
Messi, 32 was sent off in Argentina’s 2-1 third place play off win against Chile after which he laid corruption allegations against the South America football federation saying that the cup was fixed for Brazil.
The Argentine now has a week to appeal the suspension decision. Meanwhile, if the suspension decision remains as it is, Messi would be missing friendly matches against against Chile (September 5), Mexico (September 10) and Germany (October 10) – in addition to the one-match World Cup qualifying ban for being sent off.
The Albiceleste managed to earn a pint of revenge against Chile in the third place game having lost their last two Copa America finals to them.
Paulo Dybala and Sergio Aguero registered their names on the score sheet but Messi received an early bath in the 37th minute having appeared to have aimed a headbutt at Gary Medel during an altercation with the midfielder. Chilean midfielder, Medel was also shown a straight red card.
At some point, a one game suspension for the red seemed like all the Barcelona legend would be getting but a comment by CONMEBOL regarding the comments as unacceptable and representing “a lack of respect” signalled that there was more to come for Messi.
Messi isn’t a player used to being suspended as he’s never been sent off in a competitive game for club side, Barcelona and got his only other red in his debut for Argentina, a card shown to him for a perceived elbow as he attempted to hold off a defender.
With their talisman now 32 and ageing really quick Argentina gaffer, Lionel Scaloni now has the chance to experiment with his first team setup without being forced to use Messi.