Lionel Messi Given Three Month Suspension And Hefty Fine After Copa America Comments
Lionel Messi will not play for Argentina until November after CONMEBOL suspended the player for controversial comments made during this summer's Copa America.
The South American Football Confederation have handed the 32-year-old a three month ban, as well as a £41,000 fine following his actions after Argentina's third place play-off win over Chile.
Annoyed at refereeing decisions in the semi-final loss against hosts Brazil, the five time Ballon d'Or winner explained his annoyance at perceived 'corruption' in a stunning rant.
He said: "I didn't go to the podium because we shouldn't be part of the corruption and lack of respect.
"We were meant for more but they didn't let us be in the final. The corruption and the refs didn't allow the people to enjoy and football is ruined.
"The corruption and the referees didn't allow us to be in the final. You have to say the truth.
"Brazil champions? No doubt. Sadly, I think the Copa is set up for Brazil.
"Hopefully the refs and VAR will have nothing to do with it and Peru will be able to compete because they have the team to do it."
CONMEBOL rules state that players cannot 'behave in an offensive, insulting manner or perform defamatory statements of any kind' and 'insult in any way and by any means to CONMEBOL its authorities, officials.'
Messi later apologised for his comments via the Argentine Football Association.
It was previously reported that the five-time Ballon d'Or winner could have been hit with a two year international ban, according to Spanish outlet AS.
But it has now been confirmed that he will serve a three month international suspension.
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