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CONMEBOL Slams Messi’s Copa America Corruption Claims As Unacceptable
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CONMEBOL Slams Messi’s Copa America Corruption Claims As Unacceptable

Felix Egbomuche

Felix Egbomuche

The CONMEBOL have reacted to corruption allegations labeled against them by Argentina captain, Lionel Messi.

Messi was sent off controversially in the first half of Argentina's 2-1 win following an altercation with Chile captain, Gary Medel who was also dismissed.

The Barcelona man vented his displeasure at the way the organizers treated both him and his national team all through the tournament, saying it is a disrespect for the Copa.

The 32-year-old had previously criticized the officiating at the tournament, claiming that host nation, Brazil, were favored during their semi-final 2-0 loss.

Messi was absent for the medal ceremony but spoke to the media afterward.

"Because we don't have to be part of this corruption, this lack of respect towards the whole Copa," he answered when asked by reporters the reason he snubbed the presentation.

"I always tell the truth. That leaves me calm. Then, if what I say has repercussions, it is not to do with me as I am always sincere." he concluded.

But in a statement released by the football governing body in South America Messi's comments were slammed as "unacceptable" and "unfounded".

"In football sometimes you win and sometimes you lose and accepting the outcome of a match with loyalty and respect is a fundamental pillar of fair play. Same goes to the refereeing decisions, that are human and will never be perfect," the statement by CONMEBOL read.

"It's unacceptable that because of incidents proper to the competitions, where 12 nations competed in, all in equal condition, there have been unfounded accusations that misrepresent the truth and put to judgment the integrity of Copa America.

"Said accusations represent a lack of respect for the competition, all the football players involved and the hundreds of professionals of CONMEBOL, an institution that since 2016 has been tirelessly working to professionalize and develop South American football."

It remains to be seen if further action will be taken against the Barcelona forward.