Rio de Janeiro, Jul 8 : Brazil head coach Tite accused Lionel Messi of failing to accept defeat for claiming that the Copa America was fixed in the host nation's favor.
Tite joined Peru head coach Ricardo Gareca and Brazil players Dani Alves and Marquinhos in rejecting Messi's claim that the Copa America was tainted by corruption. ''He has to have a little more respect and understand and accept when he loses'', Tite told a news conference after Brazil beat Peru 3-1 in Sunday's final at the Maracana stadium on Sunday. ''We were hard done by in a number of games, including the  World Cup, so he needs be careful. He applied a lot of pressure [with his comments] because of who he is. He has to take a little more care and show respect''.
Messi made the allegations after he was sent off for an altercation with Gary Medel during the first half of Argentina's 2-1 defeat of Chile in the third-place playoff on Saturday. Medel was also dismissed, having seemingly provoked the incident. Messi also said the tournament was "set up" for Brazil, whose 2-0 semifinal defeat of Argentina was marked by refereeing controversies.
"We played clean against Argentina," Tite said. "I realize that he was unfairly sent off [against Chile]. Medel was the one who deserved it. But you need to look at other situations. We scored a legal goal that was disallowed against Venezuela and today there shouldn't have been a penalty against Thiago Silva."
Earlier, Gareca said that Brazil were the best team and deserved the winner's trophy. "I respect Messi a lot as a player and a person but that doesn't mean I have to agree with everything he says," Gareca said after the match. Alves, who is a close friend of Messi, said: "I don't agree with him. I think there are professionals who have worked hard for this competition. I believe that we eliminated them fairly."
Defender Marquinhos was more direct. "He's had a lot of favorable decisions from referees for Barcelona and the [Argentina] national team and I never saw him complaining. He lost, he has to accept it," the Paris Saint-Germain center-back said. (XINHUA)