New Delhi | Jagran Sports Desk: Argentina and Barcelona soccer star Lionel Messi, who is known as the ‘Greatest of all time’ (GOAT) among his fans has been handed over a ban of three months from international football by the South American football governing body CONMEBOL.

The five-time Ballon d’or winner has been banned over the charges of accusing the CONMEBOL of corruption during the Copa America this year. The CONMEBOL announced the punishment of ban along with 50,000 USD fine.

During the semi-final of Copa America between Argentina and Brazil, some poor decisions against the Argentina team had cost them the semi-final. The Argentina captain was furious after the referee turned down two penalty appeal by Argentina. Alleging to which Messi claimed that the tournament was set up for Brazil to win.

While the replaying visuals had shown clear foul of the visiting players in the Brazilian box, the referee did not even consider going for the VAR. “There is no doubt, the whole thing is set up for Brazil. I hope the VAR and referees don't play any part in the final and that Peru can compete but it looks tough to me”, Messi was quoted as saying after the match.

 

In another instance, during the third-place playoff against Chile, Messi was sent off the ground for just the second time in his career which further infuriated the five-time Ballon d'Or winner. After Argentina defeated their opponents 2-1, Messi avoided the presentation ceremony.

He had said, '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.'

Later, on being asked if he feared suspension, Messi had said 'the truth needed to be told'. However, the Argentine captain had sent an apology to CONMEBOL for his remarks.

 

The suspension will see Messi missing four friendlies this year. In September he will be out of action against Chile and Mexico, while in October he will not feature against Germany and another adversary to be picked. However, Messi and Argentina's football federation can still appeal against the decision but they are yet to comment on the issue

Posted By: Talib Khan