Messi receives one-match World Cup qualifier ban

Messi receives one-match World Cup qualifier ban

Agency News

Rio De Janeiro, Jul 25: Argentina captain Lionel Messi has been banned for one competitive match for his altercation with Chile's Gary Medel in the Copa America third-place playoff earlier this month.

The Barcelona forward was also given a 1,500 US-dollar fine for his claim that the tournament was influenced by corruption, South American football governing body CONMEBOL said.

The decision means that Messi will miss Argentina's first 2022 World Cup qualifier next March. The 32-year-old and Medel were both shown a red card for an altercation in which the latter appeared to headbutt his opponent during the first half of Argentina's 2-1 win in Sao Paulo.

Days earlier, Messi had claimed that the Copa America was "set up" for Brazil after the hosts defeated Argentina 2-0 in a semifinal marked by refereeing controversies.

CONMEBOL said the penalties could not be appealed. (UNI-Xinhua)