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Lionel Messi Banned From International Football For Three Months
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Lionel Messi Banned From International Football For Three Months

Felix Egbomuche

Felix Egbomuche

Lionel Messi has been handed a three months ban from international football for comments he made about the CONMEBOL during the Copa America.

The Argentina captain had claimed there was "corruption" within the federation relating to the Copa America and that the tournament was set up for Brazil to win.

Messi was sent off in Argentina's third-place 2-1 win against Chile after a confrontation with Gary Medel and would later go on to say the "cup was fixed for Brazil".

Lionel Messi Banned From International Football For Three Months

"There is no doubt, the whole thing is set up for Brazil," Messi said in a post-match interview after snubbing the the medal presentation.

"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.

"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."

The 32-year-old was also fined $50,000 (£41,121) by the South American Football Confederation, CONMEBOL who have given him seven days to appeal the decision to suspend him.

The ban if upheld would see the Barcelona talismanic forward miss Argentina's upcoming friendlies against Chile, Mexico and Germany in September and October.

But the ban would have no effect on their 2022 World Cup qualifications campaign which begins in March 2020.